Scarborough officer tapped for special police council

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SCARBOROUGH — Officer John Gill has been appointed to a special police council, under the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI), formed to advise police department partners in the continued mitigation of opioid addiction.

The PAARI is a nationwide organization that includes 160 departments in nearly 30 states, from Kentucky, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and all six New England states. 

Gill helped launch the Operation Hope program in the Scarborough Police Department, which is modeled after the Methuen, Massachusetts program that allows those suffering from addiction to find subsidized recovery through the police department.

Operation Hope launched almost exactly a year ago, and has place more than 200 individuals into treatment programs across the country. In late September, the program successfully placed the 200th person seeking reprieve from opioid addiction into a treatment program.

Gill was one of six police officers appointed to the special task force, along with chiefs and sergeants from Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Washington and Massachusetts. 

The Police Council will assist in disseminating guidelines, trends and up-to-date policies for participating agencies, according to an Oct. 13 press release. Members will also act as representatives and visit police departments across the country to talk about the best methods law enforcement can use to help people seek assistance in their recovery from addiction. 

“At its very core, the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative supports the collective voice of law enforcement as it responds to one of the worst public health crises we have experienced as a nation,” PAARI Chairman John Rosenthal said in the release. 

The Police Council “allows PAARI to expand its reach across the country, while ensuring we have the guidance and expertise of law enforcement leaders to expand access to treatment for people struggling with opioid addiction,” Rosenthal said.