What is the Jeffersontown Angel Program?
Beginning August 1, 2016, any person who enters the Jeffersontown Police Department and requests help with their addiction to opiates will be immediately screened into our Angel Program for placement in a local treatment facility. As a police-led and volunteer supported initiative, officers will connect people with substance use disorders to treatment options in the community, while volunteer “Angels” support participants during the intake process.
Moreover, officers will dispose of any drugs or drug equipment in the participant’s possession and not charge them with a crime. Ultimately, our goal is to connect participants to local, state, or out-of-state treatment facilities which provide an appropriate continuum of care based on the participant’s needs.
The Angel Program Origins
Massachusetts began the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative in June 2015. One year since inception, Gloucester has referred more than 450 people into treatment and shown a 33% reduction in property crime rates.
The success of the program and widespread need for new solutions to the heroin epidemic led to the development of Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI), a non-profit organization that provides support for police agencies launching similar programs and networking with nationwide treatment centers.
Reasons for Change
The City of Jeffersontown and Jefferson County has been strongly impacted by the heroin and opioid epidemic. According to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy 2015 Overdose Fatality Report, Jefferson County has had the most overdose deaths of any county, with 268 total deaths. As well, the largest increase in overdose fatalities occurred in Jefferson County, where deaths increased by 64, from 204 deaths in 2014 to 268 in 2015. Jefferson County was the top county for heroin-related overdose deaths and the 3rd top county for fentanyl-heroin combination overdose deaths in 2015. Statewide, overdose fatalities have increased by 177 deaths from 2014 to 2015.
Overall, drug-related crime, public health issues, and overdoses in our community have pushed our police to develop innovative programs to address this crisis. We wanted to implement a program with proven success at reducing drug-related crime and removing barriers to treatment.
Jeffersontown's Dedication to Drug Enforcement
The Jeffersontown Police Department is strongly dedicated to bringing justice to drug dealers and suppliers in our city. While we will continue to arrest and prosecute drug traffickers to the highest extent, this program aims to reduce their clientele by minimizing the stigma of addiction and removing barriers to recovery. The Jeffersontown Police Department will be a safe place for those who are ready to for help with their addiction.
Angel Program Walk-In-Hours
Monday - Friday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm