Arlington Police Chief Fredrick Ryan will be in Washington on Wednesday to appear before a Senate panel exploring solutions to the opioid crisis that has cost thousands of people in Massachusetts their lives.
Ryan will join a roundtable discussion hosted by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs called “America’s Insatiable Demand for Drugs: Examining Alternative Approaches,’’ according to the committee.
Ryan will appear on behalf of the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative that sees police officers steering substance abusers toward treatment instead of imprisonment.
In a statement released by his department, Ryan said he will focus his comments on the need to change the way law enforcement deals with substance abuse and to argue for an increase in treatment programs as more effective ways to combat drug-related crime.
PAARI was launched by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and developer John Rosenthal and the program is now in use in more than 100 police departments in 24 states, according John Guilfoil, PAARI spokesman.
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• How did the opioid epidemic get so bad?
• 2015 | Evan Horowitz: It’s not an opiate crisis, it’s a heroin crisis
John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.