Winthrop Community and Law Enforcement Assisted Recovery Selected for National Mentor Programs

Chief Terence M. Delehanty and Health Director Meredith Hurley are pleased to share that the Community and Law Enforcement Assisted Recovery (CLEAR) program was selected by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to serve as one of eight mentor programs for other peer-to-peer recovery programs across the nation.

The BJA’s Peer Recovery Support Services Mentoring Initiative (PRSSMI) selects top peer-to-peer recovery programs from across the country to serve as examples that can support newer programs and agencies that are interested in starting programs by supporting program-to-program learning among organizations.

CLEAR was born in 2014 as a collaboration between Winthrop public safety agencies and Winthrop Department of Public Health and Clinical Services. The organization has expanded and developed in the years since, and now includes a robust, multidisciplinary team of service providers and helpers who wrap around community members struggling with mental health challenges, substance use issues, domestic violence, housing insecurity, and food scarcity.

Police, firefighters and public health personnel use police data to identify and find those struggling with substance use disorder, mental health issues, and domestic violence challenges and work to provide assistance and wrap-around services to those individuals in an effort to get them into recovery and to support them in the recovery process.

CLEAR, along with programs in California, Montana, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Alabama were selected as mentor programs this year after a vetting process that included an application and interviews.

Mentor programs will now be singled out to provide examples of best practices to those interested in starting new programs and those with programs in the early stages of development.

“In 2014, 21st Century Policing began in Winthrop, when Public Safety and Public Health partnered to help respond to the overdose crisis. With input from outside the box thinkers and people with lived experience, we developed a recovery-oriented community policing methodology, known as CLEAR, that utilizes police data for targeted interventions into the community to prevent people from ending up in cages and coffins,” said Lt. Sarko Gergerian, a founding member of CLEAR. “The multidisciplinary team of helpers that formed around this core mission work together to circle around any community member who accepts the help. It is an honor to be able to help others from across the United States to begin their own public safety and health partnerships and develop multidisciplinary teams of helpers that value individuals with lived experience.”

“We are pleased that the Bureau of Justice Assistance recognized CLEAR for it’s groundbreaking and effective work to curb the toll drug overdoses and substance use disorder on our community,” said Chief Delehanty. “I hope the hard work of our local organization will help others across the country overcome obstacles, identify best practices, and save lives.”

“CLEAR is doing vital, life-saving work in our community and we could not be more proud that our local effort will now provide an example to others around the country who are working to save lives from the scourges of substance use disorder and the mental health crisis,” said Director Hurley. “Our evidence-based practices and results-focused work continues to save lives locally, and we hope this type of programming will spread across the country.”

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