A law-enforcement led addiction assistance program has expanded across the state, making it available at all 30 Michigan State Police posts.

The Angel Program allows someone with a drug addiction to walk into a state police post and ask for help, without the fear of being arrested or investigated. The MSP Brighton Post joined the program in September and it was announced recently that the program is now active and operational at every post in the state.

MSP Lt. Kevin Caldwell says the opioid epidemic is very real and one that law enforcement can’t arrest its way out of. Law enforcement agencies believe combating the epidemic will be more successful if addicts are offered treatment instead of punishment. Caldwell says an individual who voluntarily walks into a state police post will be offered assistance, with their policy being not to ask for information that would start or further a criminal investigation.

After a person is accepted into the program, they will be placed in a detox or long-term facility. They are then assigned an Angel volunteer who offers support throughout the process and transportation to the facility. Anyone seeking treatment can submit themselves to the program during post business hours, 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.

The program is an avenue law enforcement agencies are using to combat the opioid epidemic while building positive relationships with those battling addiction. MSP is the first state police agency in the nation to launch a statewide effort like the Angel Program, which has successfully provided assistance to 38 individuals since it began. (DK)