Jeffersontown police see positive results with innovative drug treatment program
A new approach to fighting drug addiction wants addicts to go to the police without the fear of new charges.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jeffersontown Police Department's Angel Program has helped dozens of people since it launched in August of 2016, which includes several people in just the past few weeks.
The program helps guide addicts into treatment without the fear of facing new charges, as long as they are voluntarily seeking help. Maj. Brittney Garrett said it gives the department another option to keep people with a drug problem from a cycle of incarceration.
"We've helped over 60 people to date and we're hoping as we continue forward to help even more," Garrett said. "They can turn in any drugs or drug paraphernalia, and they won't be charged for those crimes."
While Jeffersontown officers are used to fighting dealers, they believe the approach allows them a way to fight demand.
"We've had some fantastic success stories of people getting their jobs back, staying in recovery and thriving in recovery," Garrett said.
The program provides a path to becoming drug free without a ride in the back seat of a police car.
"It's frustrating, I think, for any person who's involved in this system to feel like we're not helping, to feel like that we're seeing the same people overdose or we're seeing the same people be arrested," Garrett said.
Jeffersontown police hope more departments will create programs of their own.
"I can only imagine the burden and the step that it must take to walk into a police department, a place you would never think would be open to helping you in this way," Garrett said.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.