At the Douglas Police Department, our mission is to serve the people of the City of Douglas and to provide safety and improved quality of life in our Community through excellence in policing.
I appreciate the opportunity to share a couple of new initiatives that the department is working on in support of our mission.
• School Resource Officer
This is a partnership with the Douglas Unified School District to have an officer assigned to the Douglas High School full-time while school is in session. The officer will work collaboratively with school administrators and security personnel with a focus on enforcement of state and local laws along with some student and staff education. Generally the officer will not be involved with administrative actions for rule or policy violations.
• Cochise Addiction Recovery Partnership
In the last couple of years we have seen the first real presence of heroin in our community with accompanying paraphernalia inclusive of used syringes.
Nationally the law enforcement response to the opioid crisis has been “Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative” (PAARI) which is also referred to as the “Angel Initiative”. The premiss behind the program is for law enforcement to approach the subject of addiction as a health issue and refer willing users into treatment rather than arresting them for possession or use. While it is a shift from the normal approach to the problem it is not a complete abandonment of enforcement. Those persons who are willing and voluntarily request treatment will be given that opportunity. While those who participate in sales and victimization tactics will continue to be dealt with criminally.
The local response has been to tailor the PAARI and Angel Initiative approach to fit within the resources that are available locally through collaboration with the various health agencies throughout Cochise County. This collaboration is known as the Cochise Addiction Recovery Partnership (CARP). For more information please visit the CARP webpage at https://www.cochise.az.gov/health-and-social-services/carp-cochise-addiction-recovery-partnership.
• VISTA Service Opportunity
The Department, in conjunction with CARP, was recently selected to receive an AmeriCorps VISTA service member who will assist to expand the capacity and capabilities of the program described above.
We are looking for a motivated individual to assist with taking CARP’s efforts to the next level. For more information or to apply please visit: https://paariusa.org/recoverycorps/ and https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=89396& fromSearch=true
• Community Resource Officer
This is a new officer assignment that incorporates some past, present and future community outreach initiatives which historically have been assigned as ancillary duties to a few officers and rolling them into a single full-time assignment. The officer will follow up on Domestic Violence investigations: taking photographs, gathering additional information, providing resource information and completing a risk assessment.
A second duty will be working with the AmeriCorp VISTA service member with implementation of local initiatives to address substance use disorder and getting folks referred into treatment. Lastly, the officer will serve as the Public Information Officer (PIO), providing community outreach inclusive of information sharing via our webpage and social media platforms as well as planning and executing community events.
It takes a community to police a community. Success is dependent upon the collaboration between all of the city departments, public and private entities and you our community, which we proudly serve.