In a continued attempt to combat opioid overdose and addiction through community outreach, The New Castle County Police Department has been awarded a grant from the University of Baltimore to hire a Hero Help Coordinator.
The Hero Help Program is a collaboration between the Division of Police, the Delaware Department of Justice and the State Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to provide drug and/or alcohol addiction treatment to qualifying adults who contact the police and ask for treatment, or to individuals in lieu of an immediate arrest for lesser crimes.
Since the inception of the program, there have been over 60 participants enrolled. Although successful, New Castle County Police feels they can do more to expand their outreach to those suffering from addiction with the hiring of the Hero Help Program Coordinator. The hiring of the coordinator will allow the program to more efficiently manage a greater number of participants.
“Police officers, through the very nature of the profession, regularly interact with persons suffering from addiction. We recognize that the traditional policing approach of making arrests can’t be the only option,” said New Castle County Police Major Robert McLucas. “The Hero Help Program provides our officers with an additional tool in the battle against this heroin/Opioid epidemic. The hiring of the Hero Help Coordinator will allow our police department to dedicate a fulltime resource to the program with the goal of reaching more people suffering from addiction.”
The grant will help secure funding for a one year salary for the coordinator, 300 Narcan Kits for distribution to non-fatal patients and their family members, and marketing and outreach about the availability of the program.
“The disease of opiate addiction is the public health crisis of the 21st Century,” said County Executive Matt Meyer. “Through Hero Help, we commit to utilizing the talents of our County’s finest to help those struggling with addiction find lasting treatment. Thanks to this new grant funding, this life-saving program will expand, providing real-time access to treatment and services to put them on the road to long-term recovery.”
For more information on the Hero Help Program, Individuals can come to the Corporal Paul J. Sweeney Public Safety Building at 3601 N. DuPont Highway New Castle, Del. 19720 to request further information and inquire if they are eligible. Citizens can also call (302)395-8050.
To be eligible for the program, you must be a Delaware resident 18-years-old or older, have no violent criminal convictions, and voluntarily enroll in the program.