BISBEE – The Douglas Police Department is looking for a motivated individual to assist with taking Cochise Addiction and Recovery Partnership’s (CARP) efforts with the opioid problem in the county to the next level.
Douglas PD, in conjunction with CARP, was selected to receive an AmeriCorps VISTA service volunteer who will assist expanding the capacity and capabilities of the program. The person will serve in a professional setting to build partnerships, write grants and organize volunteers, according to a press release.
The position, which has time split between Douglas and Bisbee, will help to identify solutions to gaps in the referral to treatment and expand the partnership throughout each of the communities within Cochise County. It is hoped the VISTA position will be filled by July.
“The Douglas Police Department and its partner agencies in CARP are delighted to be chosen as a host site for the PAARI National Recovery Corps program,” said Douglas Police Chief Kraig Fullen.
“The key to a successful, non-arrest pathway to treatment and recovery is partnerships and collaboration. This approach has already proved to be a winning formula in rural Cochise County, and our relationship with P.A.A.R.I. AmeriCorps will ensure this program continues to grow and help those who need assistance in leading a healthier and productive lifestyle.”
Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency administering the AmeriCorps program, is looking forward to what the program can bring to the area.
“I’m proud that through this new partnership with P.A.A.R.I. and Cochise County agencies, AmeriCorps VISTA members can be a part of the solution,” she said.
“The opioid epidemic has left an indelible scar in communities across America. Addressing this crisis will take an all-hands-on-deck effort and everyone has a role to play. We are thrilled that Douglas Police Department and Cochise County agencies have signed on as a partner for the inaugural year of the national program.”
Bisbee community concerns led to action by Bisbee Mayor David Smith and Bisbee Police Chief Albert Echave and with the help of many agencies, the collaborative organization was formed two years ago. The idea is for law enforcement to approach addiction as a health issue more than a legal issue and refer willing users to treatment rather than arresting them for possession or use.
Its mission is to provide access and support for the treatment and recovery of addiction and improve the health and safety of communities throughout the region. CARP seeks to destigmatize substance abuse through a program to be piloted by police and fire departments in Bisbee and Douglas.