Waterville police offer open arms to those struggling with addiction
Since 2017, the Waterville Police Department has been able to offer hope to about 140 people dealing with addiction.
People struggling can walk through the doors of the police station and be welcomed with open arms and directed to treatment options.
It's called Operation HOPE, which stands for Heroin Opiate Prevention Effort.
Police work with local treatment facilities to help.
Police tell us they can't arrest their way out of this epidemic.
Robert Bouley, Waterville Patrol Officer says, "They're at a point where the drug has hold on them just like if you were in a desert and needed water, that you either live or die. That's how they feel on it. So, our program greatly helps them to be able to get into a place to start getting help and getting to a point where they can think and do things on their own."
William Bonney, Waterville Deputy Chief of Police says, "Not all of those people have had a great outcome and we know that that's going to happen because opiate addiction runs so deep. But for those that we have been able to help, we've restored health to the community. We've restored mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons to their families and that's a really big deal and it's very important to us here at the police department."
To learn more about Operation HOPE visit waterville-me.gov/police.