Jeffersontown PD Angel Program helps more than 60 people facing addiction in first 2 years
LOUISVILLE, Ky . (WDRB) – Fighting drug addictions can be tough and sometimes finding the right help can be even harder, but now more and more people are turning to police.
The Angel Program with Jeffersontown Police has helped more than 60 people since its inception in August of 2016. The program breaks down barriers between people in recovery and law enforcement.
J-Town police were just one of many local resources booths at the Young People in Recovery resource fair and barbecue at Cherokee Park Saturday.
“Two years ago when we first came to this, it was much different. People were like why are the police here and now there's so many people that are coming up saying I've heard of the Angel Program. Thank you for being here and that's a different dynamic and that's what we want. We want that positive conversation,” said Maj. Brittney Garrett, J-town PD Angel Program coordinator.
How it works is simple. People can walk into the J-Town Police Department, mention the Angel Program and an officer will help you.
“It's just a way of us helping navigate that system that is often very confusing with insurance or not knowing where to go or not having any resources available to you,” Garrett said.
They'll also discard your drugs without you facing charges.
“We're very much enforcing these drug dealers who are bringing drugs into our community, but we now we have to open our arms for people who are looking for help and they don't know where to go,” Garrett said.
And then these people are connected with a YPR Angel Program volunteer.
“I've been there and I'm not going to judge you. I was not judged, I was loved unconditionally and that's what we need,” said Jenni Meredith, the Louisville Chapter Lead for YPR.
That unconditional love and support is what has helped Glenn Wilkins with his recovery. Friday, July 27, 2018, he celebrated 365 days of sobriety.
Ten years ago Wilkins was in a bad industrial accident.
“It ripped eight of my fingers off. It got me on the pain killers, opiates and from there I just lost control of myself,” Wilkins said.
He eventually turned to heroin.
“It's a whole lot more readily available these days. It's everywhere. Doesn't matter where you go. You can find it,” he said.
But these days he's surrounding himself with the resources and people to keep him healthy.
“There is another side to this devastation that we call substance use disorder otherwise known as addiction and it's where people can actually get better. And we change and we prosper and then we get to help other people do the same,” Meredith said.
And the people are what really helped Wilkins in his recovery.
“People have become really united in this and this has become my real family,” Wilkins said.
For more information about YPR Louisville click here.
For more information about the Angel Program click here.
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