Brick Police Chief James Riccio and Manchester Police Chief Lisa Parker along with the Ocean County Prosecutor, Joseph D. Coronato, announced the first of its kind law enforcement addiction help program in New Jersey. The “Heroin Addiction Response Program” (HARP) will allow substance abusers to respond to either of the above participating police headquarters to go to addiction and treatment evaluation without any threat of charges or jail.
Brick and Manchester Police Departments will begin this innovative initiative by partnering with Preferred Behavioral Health in Lakewood and Integrity House in Toms River to pilot the HARP program. Initially, the two departments and their health providers will make the life changing option available two days a week. Those fighting addiction, can go to Manchester Police Department on Wednesday or Brick Police Department on Thursday to seek immediate critical help in fighting drug addiction.
The program is the latest initiative to offer substantial diversion help in order to reduce the impact of heroin and opiate abuse in our community, while encouraging those who suffer from addiction to seek help and experience recovery. The premise of the program is that any person who voluntarily enters the two participating agencies and requests help with addiction to heroin or opiates or any substance shall be immediately screened for potential participation in HARP. Although HARP is primarily designed to apply to persons who present themselves at the station, an officer who encounters a person outside the police station believing they would benefit from HARP has the discretion, based upon their training and experience, to the bring an individual to the police station if the person consents to the voluntary screening process. The officer/shift supervisor, upon completion of the HARP screening process shall provide transportation for the participant to the designated provider as soon as reasonably possible.
The Brick Township Police Department is committed to do whatever it takes to combat addiction in our and surrounding communities.