Gloucester police take new approach to opiate crisis


Last night, Gloucester police Chief Leonard Campanello wrote a message on Facebook to drug addicts in Gloucester. “Any addict who walks into the police station with the remainder of their drug equipment (needles, etc.) or drugs and asks for help will NOT be charged,” Campanello wrote in his message.

“Instead we will walk them through the system toward detox and recovery. We will assign them an ‘angel’ who will be their guide through the process. Not in hours or days, but on the spot. Addison Gilbert and Lahey Clinic have committed to helping fast track people that walk into the police department so that they can be assessed quickly and the proper care can be administered quickly.”

People all over the state of Massachusetts are seeing this message and “liking” and “sharing” it on Facebook.

On Saturday, May 2, Gloucester held a meeting regarding the opiate crisis in Gloucester, and how the city can help put an end to this problem. In turn, Chief Campanello wrote on Facebook that he has a plan to help.

Not charging addicts who ask for help is just one of the many points he made in his Facebook message.

“I will personally travel to Washington D.C. with the support of Mayor Theken, the City Council, Senator Bruce Tarr, and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, on May 12 and 13,” Chief Campanello wrote.

“There I will meet with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and Congressman Seth Moulton. I will bring what Gloucester is accomplishing and challenge them to change, at the federal level, how we receive aid, support, and assistance.”

Chief Campanello is serious about ending the opiate crisis in Gloucester. “I am asking for your help,” he continued. “Create strength in numbers. I will bring it with me to show how many voters are concerned about this issue. Lives are literally at stake.”