The Georgetown Police Department has been awarded an in-kind grant to hire two AmeriCorps VISTA members to join the department’s Operation Hope/Angel Program, said Capt. Darin Allgood.

GPD is the smallest police department of the 21 nationwide to receive a grant. The grant is through the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PARRI) and is part of a $1.16 million grant PAARI received from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service. GPD’s grant represents an i-kind grant worth more than $50,000.

“We are delighted to be one of the chosen police departments across the country to receive this grant,” Allgood said. “Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced a significant increase in our overdose calls for service, and unfortunately, deaths associated with overdoses.

“This grant will provide us the ability to hire two civilians that will really be a benefit to our agency, but more importantly, our community. The people we put in place will work closely with our Victims Advocates, and they will continue our endeavor to provide assistance to those community members that are struggling with drug addiction. This is one more way the Georgetown Police Department can help address underlying social issues that impact the well-being of our community.”

Victims Advocate Becky Rhodes praised the GPA and its attitude towards drug addiction.

“I’m grateful this department has the attitude that treatment instead of incarceration is best best way to address drug addiction,” she said. “Anyone can walk right into the police department and say they have a drug addiction problem and they’ll receive help. Even if they have warrants, we’ll help them wit those, as well.”

PARRI is now accepting applications with start dates in August and November. Anyone interested in applying should visit the website parriusa/org/recoverycorps for a link to apply. Anyone with lived experience with addiction, including those who are personally in recovery, are encouraged to apply.

 

Mike Scogin can be reached at mscogin@news-graphic.com.

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