Berea police program puts emphasis on getting heroin addicts treatment

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BEREA, Ohio-- Berea police say they will soon join other local police departments and more around the country offering help for heroin addicts without making more arrests.

The Berea Police Department said it wants addicts to come and ask for help. Then the police will get the person into a treatment facility within 72 hours.

Currently, addicts and their families complain of long waiting lists for treatment centers, as more people get hooked on the drug.

Berea officer Dave Kammerman said his department will be joining with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative.

Kammerman said his department wants to help beat the problem by breaking a common cycle. Someone with a drug problem often gets arrested, and then they end up back on the streets with the same problem and no help.

"If they have drug abuse instruments left or drugs left, we will take that. We will destroy it. We will not charge them with having that," Kammerman said. "We will find them a place to detox and a place for recovery, a 28-day facility." It's important to note police said they cannot overlook outstanding arrest warrants.

The Berea Police Department will hold an event announcing this new program later this month. Olmsted Township police will be involved too.

This will bring the number of departments in Ohio taking part to 10. Police said officers in Lodi, Wellington and Creston are already involved.

Berea Police Department