Posted Saturday, June 30th, 2018
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, who is president of the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey, recently joined State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in the roll-out of the week-long Operation Helping Hand substance abuse initiative.
Operation Helping Hand was a week-long program in which substance abuse treatment was offered as an alternative to incarceration for people who had been arrested for drug offenses. The program ran from June 11 through June 15 in Passaic and Union Counties.
Law enforcement at all levels from five counties — Morris, Sussex, Bergen, Passaic and Union counties — assisted with the initiative
Over the course of the week, 177 individuals suffering from substance abuse disorder were arrested. Of those 177 people (or five of every six arrested), 148 were eager to accept recovery services. Recovery specialists connected with these individuals following their arrests with the ultimate goal of getting them on the road to recovery.
Prosecutor Knapp also was joined at the kickoff event by Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo, Acting Union County Prosecutor Michael Monahan, and Sussex County Prosecutor Francis Koch.
“In light of the staggering toll heroin and opioids have had on our state and nation, we as law enforcement leaders must utilize innovative methods to combat this epidemic,” said Prosecutor Knapp. “Traditional drug interdiction alone is insufficient. Education, particularly for middle school children, and diversion of addicted offenders into drug court can be part of our battle.
“Law enforcement is at its best when partnering with the community, and Operation Helping Hand is a promising example of collaboration between law enforcement and the treatment community that saves lives,” Knapp added.
Knapp gave special thanks to Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Investigations Stephen Wilson, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, Morris County Undersheriff Mark Spitzer, Chief Andrew Miller of the Parsippany Police Department, and Chief Conrad Pepperman of the Rockaway Borough Police Department for their participation in the initiative.
Participating agencies included Morris County Prevention is Key, Morris Center for Addiction Recovery Education & Success [CARES], and the following police departments: Denville, Mount Olive, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover Township, Washington Township, Florham Park, Montville, Morris Township, Rockaway Township, Pequannock, Parsippany and Rockaway Borough.
Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at pressin[email protected] or 973-829-8159.