A Massachusetts police program that helps fast track heroin addicts into treatment is catching on in other states and also showing signs of reducing local crime.
Gloucester police say nearly 40 departments in nine states are taking a cue from their ANGEL program.
Addicts can come to the police station and be connected to a treatment program if they commit to getting clean. They are assigned a volunteer “angel,” sometimes a recovering addict, who works with them. They can turn in their drugs and drug paraphernalia, no questions asked.
Police Chief Leonard Campanello developed the program. He says statistics suggest it may also help reduce crimes associated with addiction. This summer, shoplifting, breaking and entering, and larceny were down 23 percent compared to the same season last year.
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