In 2016, the Michigan State Police adopted the Angel Program, a program to help those struggling with addiction.
Five years later, the program has helped over 500 people across the state.
“If a person is addicted and they want help, they can walk into any State Police Post and ask for help,” said Lieutenant Derrick Carroll, Public Information Officer for the Michigan State Police. “We call an angel volunteer, usually a person who’s a recovering addict or work in the field of addiction, they will come in, they will talk with the person.”
Fourty-six people in northern Michigan have gone through the Angel Program.
“It’s difficult enough for a person to say they have a problem,” said Lieutenant Carroll. “What we find is really difficult, too, for these people to come to a police station and say it.”
The program coordinates with addiction centers and other resources to get people the treatment they need, like Harbor Hall in Petoskey
“There’s things in place that prevent people from overdosing, especially on the opioid drugs,” said Lee Rousseau, Director of Outpatient Services at Harbor Hall. “To have another partner in the community that will refer people to us and we can save another life is huge.”
Rousseau said the partnership with the Michigan State Police, and the Angel Program, has offered more services people can reach out to if they want to get help.
“It’s nice to see people who are not afraid, knowing that they’re not going to get arrested, that seek out help from the Michigan State Police,” he said.
As the program has grown State Police say they’re seeing more people interested in getting help, and fewer issues on the streets.
“It solves crimes, it prevents crimes, and also gives people, human beings, the help they need,” said Lieutenant Carroll.
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