Orangetown PD’s Hope Not Handcuffs will help substance abusers
The Orangetown Police Department is opening its doors to anyone with a substance abuse problem.
The new program is called Hope Not Handcuffs and is geared toward helping people battling addiction before they get in trouble with the law.
The announcement made Wednesday was to let people know they can come to police without the fear of being arrested.
Someone struggling with addiction can just walk into the Orangetown Police Department, go to the window, pick up the phone and ask for help.
"Whether it’s alcohol, prescriptions drugs, heroin we will call one of the angel coordinators who will contact the on-call angel and within 20 minutes or so one of the angels should be here at the police department," says Orangetown Police Chief Donald Butterworth.
The officer will get the person medical attention, offer them clothes, toiletries and snacks while they wait for an angel volunteer to arrive.
Officials say the number of people in Rockland County who have died from drug overdoses has already surpassed last year. A total of 38 people were lost due to drug overdose in 2018 - this year 41 have died.