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Deputies Assist Addicts In New Recovery Initiative

By Kerry Longobucco.
The Broome County Sheriff's Office is rolling out a new program to help place addicts into treatment.

The sheriff's office, and other local agencies, have spent the last several months collaborating on the Broome County Sheriff Assisted Recovery Initiative.

The program is different from District Attorney Steve Cornwell's program, Operation SAFE -- because it focuses on getting addicts long-term care right here locally, rather than out of state.

Sheriff David Harder is calling for the help of his deputies -- and is hoping to encourage trust between law enforcement, and addicts.

This initiative allows an individual seeking help to contact the sheriff's office, without fear of prosecution. A deputy will transport the person to either the Addiction Crisis Center, or U.H.S. Hospital.

The program will also pair patients with trained volunteers, that will help guide them through the recovery process.

Harder says taking addicts off the streets, and putting them into treatment, will not only make a world of difference for them -- but will be a step toward a safer community.

"The drug addicts are out committing crimes. Whether it's prostitution, property crimes. We have a high property crime rate, people stealing out of people's cars at night," Harder said. "Each one of them counts. But if you're trying to recover from the addiction, it's one less person we have to worry about going out and trying to save on an overdose."

If you'd like to enter the program, you can visit the sheriff's office at any time of day, or call 778-1911, Extension 1.