LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — More police officers throughout Ingham County have been trained on giving those battling drug addiction an easy way to get help.
“Nobody wants to battle themselves and we want to be there for them to help them every step of the way,” said Jestine Garcia.
Garcia is the Michigan Regional Coordinator for Hope Not Handcuffs, an initiative introduced back in 2017 by Families Against Narcotics.
Its goal is to partner with police agencies to get those struggling with drug addiction the resources they need.
“Any participant can go into a police department and ask for help and at that time our police officers make a call for one of our angels to come to the police department,” Garcia said.
Those angels are volunteers who provide compassionate support until a treatment option is found.
Families Against Narcotics has now revamped the Hope Not Handcuffs initiative in Ingham and Clinton counties. That means more angels and officers are now trained to step in to help in these situations.
“We have trained 25 angels in the last couple of months. We now have 75 angels that are trained in the Lansing Area to help assist those who are struggling with substance use disorder,” said Garcia.
Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee said his department is ready and willing to do its part.
“We encourage folks to come in. We don’t want to be the face of enforcement, we want to be the face of solutions and sometimes solutions have nothing to do with incarceration,” said Sosebee.
Chief Sosebee said his top priority is getting them immediate help.
“We want them to come in and feel safe and feel welcome so that they can come in and we can be a partner with them, not an adversary. We want to make sure that they get the right resource that helps them in the long run,” said Sosebee.
Garcia said recovery is possible.
“Everyone needs that hope to know that just because they may be going through a difficult time in life that that’s not the end of their life,” said Garcia.