Ramapo police join ‘Hope Not Handcuffs’ initiative to fight opioid epidemic

Posted: Updated:

Another police department in Rockland County is teaming up with "Hope Not Handcuffs" to fight the opioid epidemic.

The Ramapo Police Department announced Friday that its doors will be open to help anyone who's addicted, no questions asked.

"This is going to help our community across the board. There's no one that this isn't going to impact positively," said Sgt. Chris Youngman.

Those seeking assistance can come into their station, no questions asked, and a volunteer "angel" from the group, will meet with them to provide comfort, goods and inform them about their treatment options.

"We want to be that compassionate hand, that treats them with respect and helps them navigate the system and find the resources they deserve to be able to have," says Cathy Kennedy of "Hope Not Handcuffs" Hudson Valley.

Youngman initiated the partnership after seeing firsthand the negative impact of opioids and drug use.

"Feeling helpless, especially in my role, when I feel like I can help anyone, feeling like it wasn't enough what I was doing, given the opportunity to do something different that can really help, why wouldn't I take that and run with it?" Youngman says.

Ramapo joins several police departments throughout the Hudson Valley, including Orangetown and Clarkstown to team up with "Hope Not Handcuffs," an effort the group says has already helped a dozen people in the county.

"We just want to get the word out there that we're nonjudgmental. The police departments are supporting the program and that we’re here to help," Kennedy says.

"Hope Not Handcuffs" says they have more than 100 volunteers currently in Rockland but there's always room for more angels.

 

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