CARMEL, N.Y. - The Putnam County Sheriff's Department, the town of Kent Police Department and the Carmel Police Department have announced their participation in the Hope Not Handcuffs program. 

Anyone seeking help in the fight of drug or alcohol addiction may come to any of those police department locations and ask for the Hope Not Handcuffs program. They will be treated with compassion and respect.

A call will be made to an “angel” volunteer from the Hope Not Handcuff team who will come and actively seek out a treatment plan. Individuals suffering from addiction will instantly gain an advocate and a network of resources designed to lead them to success. Hope Not Handcuffs is a proactive approach to reach out to people struggling with drug addiction to encourage them to seek recovery and regain control of their lives.

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On Thursday, Oct. 24, police and county officials and angel volunteers gathered on the front steps of the County Courthouse in Carmel to mark the official start of the program.

"It was an epic day!" said Lauren Privitera who oversees the Hope and Healing event each year in Mahopac. “We launched the Putnam County Hope not Handcuffs at 3 p.m. But what is even more amazing and really makes you wonder about synchronicity is that about an hour before the scheduled launch, we received a call from the Kent Police Department informing us someone had walked in and asked for help. As luck would have it, two volunteers were steps away from the Kent Police Department when we got the call. Needless to say, they called for an angel and within five minutes Deborah Molfetta was there and made her first placement. Coincidence? Divine intervention? Whatever the reason, it just reinforces the need and importance of this program. If it weren't for all [the volunteers] and the area police departments that have committed to the program, it wouldn't be possible."

Hope Not Handcuffs—Hudson Valley, a program of the Tri-County Community Partnership, is aimed at bringing law enforcement, community organizations and volunteers together to find viable treatment options for individuals seeking help to reduce dependency with any substance including heroin, prescription drugs, and alcohol. HNH-HV started in Orange County in January 2019, in nine months the program has rapidly grown to include 22 police departments across four counties, incorporating approximately 856 police officers. The program has a volunteer force of over 650 angels.

Since its inception, HNH, founded in Michigan, has expanded to include over 80 police departments in nine counties and has successfully connected more than 3,300 participants with the resources and treatment they need and deserve.

Learn more at www.tricountycommunitypartnership.org.