ESCANABA — A local county is the first in the U.P. to try a new program that turns possible perps into program participants. Instead of jail time they could get help towards recovery. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac has more.
Soon in Delta County, drug addicts will have the opportunity to run to the police, not from them.
That’s thanks to the new Angel Program.
Lt. Robert LaMarche of Escanaba Public Safety and an organizer of the program says, “If someone is addicted to drugs and they need help, we’re going to be here to help them. They can walk into our lobby, where they’ll be greeted by an officer from our department. At that point what they’ll do is, the officers will take their drugs if they have them, we’ll throw them in the garbage and they will not be charged.”
Instead of being charged they will begin a rehabilitation process starting with getting paired with an Angel.
“An ‘Angel’ is a volunteer from the community,” Lt. LaMarche added, “that comes to our department and then walks them through the rest of the process.”
The volunteer will take the participant to the hospital for a medical exam and then onto a treatment facility. So far, there are more than 13 Angel volunteers.
Residents in Delta County have already shown great support for the program. Recently, to help kick start the program the Escanaba Department of Public safety received a 10-thousand dollar donation from the Community Foundation for Delta County Board of Directors and another undisclosed amount from the United Evangelical Covenant Church in Gladstone.
This program is based on volunteers and donations – there will be no cost to the tax payer nor to the participant.
Lt. LaMarche says the Angel Program is not meant to be a “Get Out of Jail Free Card,” that it’s for participants who come in voluntarily, not those who are caught on the streets. For more information you can contact him at
Lt. LaMarche says that they hope to have the program running by March.
For more information you can contact Lt. Robert LaMarche at the Escanaba Public Safety Department at (906) 789-5911.