Eleven Lake County police departments donated a total of $52,000 to the county’s Opioid Initiative. All 11 are participating agencies in the “A Way Out” program, which the funds will help sustain.
In addition, part of the funds will also be allocated to fund a coordinator position to manage the program moving forward and as it continues its growth.
As police continue to see a rise in overdose deaths in Lake County, they collaborated to pledge funds from drug asset seizure accounts. The police departments’ contributions varied in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $7,500. The donations were received from the following police departments:
- Deerfield Police Department
- Fox Lake Police Department
- Grayslake Police Department
- Gurnee Police Department
- Lake County Sheriff’s Office
- Lake Forest Police Department
- Libertyville Police Department
- Mundelein Police Department
- Round Lake Beach Police Department
- Round Lake Park Police Department
- Zion Police Department
“Since we began the ‘A Way Out’ program it became very clear that our successes are a product of the cooperation and collaboration that exists among all of the program partners,” said Chief Eric Guenther of the Mundelein Police Department.
“A Way Out” is a Lake County, Illinois Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, designed to fast-track users to substance abuse programs and services. This program is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at participating police departments across Lake County and ensures no criminal charges will be sought for those that may be in possession of narcotics or paraphernalia, as long as assistance is sought out by the prospective program participant.
The program was developed by the Lake County Opioid Initiative to create additional treatment access points, reduce crime, reduce substance-related harms, re-frame the role law enforcement plays in community safety, and unite the community. For too long, substance use has been stigmatized and dealt with as a criminal issue. Substance use is a public health problem that needs to be addressed as such. Lake County Opioid Initiative is committed to developing innovative ways to create positive change in our community as it regards substance use and mental health. To-date, 296 lives have been saved via the program.
The Lake County Opioid Initiative’s mission is to develop, implement, evaluate and sustain a multi-strategy county-wide effort to prevent opioid abuse, addiction, overdose, and death.
For more information on the “A Way Out” program, please visit www.awayoutlc.org. For more information on the Lake County Opioid Initiative, please visit www.opioidinitiative.org.
Submitted by Lake County Opioid Initiative