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Salamanca police join nationwide program to help drug addicts

SALAMANCA – This week the Salamanca Police Department became one of a growing number of police agencies nationwide working through the year-old Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative to get help for opioid addicts.

Police Chief Troy Westfall said the department has outreach coordinators contacting people in the community known to be struggling with addiction and working with them to develop a plan for long-term recovery.

Under the initiative created in 2015 by Leonard Campanello, chief of the of Gloucester, Mass. police department, meetings will be set up with interested addicts and their families and those showing a need for inpatient services will be paired with treatment and recovery centers through a nationwide network, Westfall said.

With five fatal overdoses in the Salamanca area since 2015, Westfall said he knew his department had to do more to address the problem.

Westfall said the Seneca Nation’s Seneca Strong program and the Gowanda Police Department are working with Salamanca police to bridge the gap between police and addicts seeking help.