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Magnolia PD working to develop PAARI program

By WALTER DOERSCHUK The Press-News Published: October 14, 2016 10:00 AM

The Magnolia Police Department is continuing its work to battle an opiate crisis.

In collaboration with the Sandy Valley Drug Awareness Initiative, the department is working toward building Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative program.

According to its website, the PAARI initiative was first developed in 2015 by Leonard Campenello, a police chief in Gloucester, Mass. Instead of arresting their way out of drug addiction problems, police departments encourage users to seek recovery, the website says. Addicts are referred to treatment programs to seek help.

The Magnolia Police Department and the SVDAI want to take a similar approach.

"We don't want to come as the guy who is going to go around and arrest people," said Magnolia Police Chief Jeff Hager.

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He noted if the need is there for someone to receive addiction recovery, they would rather set them up to get help.

Hager said his department has been working in coordination with a center in Lodi to develop its version of PARRI. No cost is involved.

The PARRI program is still growing nationwide. Other programs in northeast Ohio, according to the initiative's website, are found in Berea, Olmstead Township and Stow.

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