Chatham Cares 4 U celebrates one-year anniversary

CHATHAM — Police Chief Peter Volkmann, along with Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I) Co-Founder and Chairman John Rosenthal and Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade, announced recently that the Chatham Police Department celebrated its one-year anniversary of its Chatham Cares 4 U (CC4U) Outreach Initiative Program, assisting 130 participants into treatment.

First launched on July 1, 2016, CC4U encourages residents who want to overcome their drug addiction to walk into the police station, turn over their drugs and paraphernalia and ask for help. Those who come in are not charged, but instead, are placed into a drug treatment program. Participants are also assigned to a volunteer “angel,” whose role is to guide and support them through their journey recovery.

Over the last year, Chatham Police have placed 130 people into treatment, all of whom entered a program in New York. The police department has also received $3,500 in donations for its addiction recovery program and now has more than 20 angel volunteers.

“As a part-time agency, we have truly accomplished a miracle in our community by working with P.A.A.R.I.,” Chief Volkmann said, in a press release. “I am so grateful to P.A.A.R.I. for its assistance, to the many police officers who’ve willingly donated their time to help out with this program and all the angels who work with participants to ensure a smooth process. We’re so proud of what we’ve accomplished and I plan to do all I can to continue saving lives.”

Chief Volkmann also travels around New York to speak to police departments and other organizations about the program. At a Village of Chatham Board meeting on July 13, Chief Volkmann announced the year anniversary and thanked all the treatment facilities “in their partnership with us.” He also thanked University of Albany for researching the program. He told the board they should be getting some data from the research soon.

“Chief Volkmann has done an outstanding job assisting those struggling with the disease of addiction find the resources they require to live a life in recovery,” Mr. Rosenthal said, also in the release. “I commend the Chatham Police Department for taking the leap to launch an addiction recovery initiative, and for continuing to help those in need a year later.”

“I applaud and congratulate the Chatham Police Department for reaching this milestone,” Ms. McDade said. “Assisting 130 participants into treatment is a great accomplishment, especially for a part-time police department. P.A.A.R.I. will continue to work with Chief Volkmann and the Chatham Police Department to ensure that everyone who asks for help, receives it.”

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