$30,000 award for RPD program will help people struggling with addiction

Alice Keefe
Updated: October 30, 2019 05:40 PM
Created: October 30, 2019 04:52 PM

(ABC 6 News) - The Rochester Police Department was awarded $30,000 from Mayo Clinic for its new Police Assisted Recovery (PAR) program.

“We could take someone to jail, we could take someone to detox, but what happens three days later when they’re released from jail, or three days later when they’re released from detox,” said Captain John Sherwin.


It’s been nearly five months since PAR’s launch.

The program’s goal is to get people who are struggling with substance abuse and to get them to come into contact with law enforcement help.

“Where are the resources for them? Often we found that they’re back to the same behavior,” Sherwin said.

PAR found community partners to help fill that gap between detox and treatment. 

One of them is Doc’s Recovery House.

“We intervene right when someone has made the decision to pursue recovery from substance use disorder and addiction and wants to get sober and go to treatment,” said Executive Director Tori Utley.

Doc’s Recovery House is new, but their services are already in high demand.

“We’ve had an incredible response, so since we first opened on February 1st, we’ve had over 70 people go through our program,” Utley said.

Four of those people were connected to Doc’s because of the PAR program.

“When you do the math, that doesn’t sound like a lot; some of those individuals were a significant drain on police resources, repeat calls day after day,” Sherwin said.

He said the program’s effect on the community is bigger than most people would expect.

The $30,000 award will allow them to essentially have a bed on retainer so people they meet on the street can get the help they need as soon as possible.

“As some that had worked on the night shift, I can tell you that there are many times during a 12-hour shift where 90 to 95 percent of the people that you deal with on an overnight shift are either under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Sherwin said.

Currently, Doc’s Recovery House’s programs are exclusively for men, but there are plans to open a new program in the spring of 2020 for women, pending funding

Until November 14th, any donations to Doc’s will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000.

You can find out more about their programs here.

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