ESCANABA– Thursday morning Governor Rick Snyder held a round table discussion with local law enforcement discussing local addiction services.
Some topics of issue are getting citizens with felonies back into the workforce, although the state already has programs such as community ventures, vocational village, and helmets to hard hats more needs to be done to convince companies to hire those with a past in the system.
Snyder said he views this issue as a cycle that needs to be continually worked on.
The Governor as commended the local ANGEL program.
“Traditionally law enforcement was about arresting people, but if you really look at their role you have Escanaba Public Safety and the Michigan State Police. Their title is not about arresting people , it’s about public safety,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “If the best answer to make someone safe is to help someone deal with an addiction to solve that problem, that’s a great answer.”
Those struggling with substance abuse and come in asking for help, will not be arrested but given the help they need.
The ANGEL program and finding help for those suffering from addiction is an issue that involves a whole community, which was represented today at the round table meeting.
“The one thing I found unique, I have been in law enforcement for forty years and you guys have been in for a long time too, I didn’t know how police office would take this on the whole. Like okay we’re supposed to be arresting people,” Trooper John Halpin said. “But I was really happily surprised to see that once they were trained and saw what took place, they realized ‘hey we can’t arrest our way out of this problem’ and so far it’s been really smooth.”
According to law enforcement some people who come in with insurance make it more expensive for them to receive help, which creates a missed opportunity.
Snyder said some insurance companies view the issue as mental health when we need to have them recognize it is a physical health issue.