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Michigan State Police battling drug addiction with "Angel" programs

DIMONDALE, Mich. (WLNS) -- Drug addiction is something that's hurting communities all over Michigan.

But addicts can now find help from a place they'd usually like to avoid.

It's called the Michigan State Police Angel Program, and it allows people struggling with drug addiction to walk into any state police post and get help, no questions asked.

"We're not looking to arrest people. We are looking to help people," said First Lieutenant Kevin Caldwell of Michigan State Police Grants and Community Relations Division.

Over the past year, state police posts have been starting Angel programs.

"And now, as of today, we are statewide. Every post is open," Caldwell said.

Troopers say all you have to do is come into your local post and talk to the front desk attendant.

"They call in our angels. Those are our volunteers. Those are recovery coaches; those are just members of the public who care. They come to the post and they meet with the participant. And then from there, they work on a plan to get them into treatment," Caldwell said.

The program is already saving lives.

Since it started a year ago, 38 people have come into state police posts across Michigan to get help for addiction.

First Lieutenant Kevin Caldwell says addicts can get help no questions asked.

"We're not looking to further a criminal investigation or look into them. In fact, all 38 people that have come into our state police posts to date have gotten care. And even people who had warrants, we've been able to work with their warrants and work with the judges and prosecutors so they can enter this program the day they come in," Caldwell said.

Caldwell says with people dying from heroin and opioid use every day, the Angel Program represents a new approach to battling the problem.

"I'm happy to say that Michigan State Police is the first state agency nationwide that has started a program like this, and we're very proud of it. I believe we're going to be trail blazers in this area," Caldwell said.

State police posts are open to the public Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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