BELVIDERE — Belvidere and Boone County will quickly get a devoted officer who will attain out to opioid customers in an try to attach them with crucial remedy after the Metropolis Council authorized an intergovernmental settlement on March 1.
The state-funded COSSAP (Complete Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Program) grant of $599,000 will be utilized in a joint effort between the police division, the Boone County Well being Division and Rosecrance. The police division will reassign an present officer to a place that may observe up with customers in individual, by telephone or different crucial strategies based mostly on earlier studies or calls made to the police division.
The aim is to increase a chance to customers to obtain remedy versus being arrested.
Based on Boone County Public Well being Administrator Amanda Mehl, the grant will cowl the hiring of two to 3 administrative workers members for the well being division. The workers members are anticipated to work three to 6 hours every week and can present administrative and monetary oversight of the grant, Mehl stated in an e-mail.
Through the March 1 City Council meeting, members mentioned and voted on the hiring of the brand new officer. As well as, Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody suggested the Metropolis Council that the officer will work with all businesses concerned and that Rosecrance is anticipated to have the ability to present remedy at zero value.
Based on the agreement, the officer will stay within the place till both the grant cash has been exhausted or till the businesses concerned within the settlement really feel it’s not wanted.
The vote handed 6-4 with Marsha Freeman, Tom Porter, Clayton Stevens, and Ric Brereton voting in opposition to the settlement.
Based on the Belvidere Police Division, police responded to 30 requires overdoses of a managed substance in 2020 in comparison with six calls made to the Boone County Sheriff’s Division. Belvidere police additionally responded to 19 requires heroin use in comparison with two for the county.
For Woody, this grant supplies the division a chance to be proactive when addressing opioid use inside the group.
“The entire concept is to work with the well being division to determine these purchasers in a proactive method to attempt to maintain them from persevering with drug use and get them into rehabilitation,” Woody stated throughout the Feb. 15 Metropolis Council assembly.
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Stevens, who voted in opposition to the measure, was involved about eradicating an officer from the road. He additionally stated the potential value to town for bills that exceed the grant weren’t clarified or mentioned sufficient throughout the March 1 Metropolis Council assembly.
“They’re being very obscure on all of this. They’re arising with how fantastic it will be however I am arising with quite a lot of negativity,” Stevens stated. “They had been actually obscure on their value.”
Based on the settlement, the grant will present the police division with $94,077.38 per 12 months to cowl the officer’s wage and advantages.
“The one factor that is not written into the finances that we had put into the intergovernmental settlement was extra time,” Woody stated. He expects the grant to cowl all different prices related to the brand new place.
Freeman additionally agreed that potential prices weren’t mentioned sufficient and felt that Boone County ought to be sharing a few of the monetary accountability for any potential value that exceeds the grant cash. She additionally argues that cops aren’t the suitable workers to deal with drug outreach duties.
“Cops reply to calls after the actual fact to research and make arrests,” Freeman stated in a textual content message. “They don’t seem to be within the enterprise of counseling or advocacy, nor ought to they be.”