Barnstable Co. Sheriff’s Office Receives $178K As Part of Heroin and Opioid Prevention Efforts

Sheriff James Cummings

Sheriff James Cummings

BARNSTABLE – The state has released more than $2.5 million in federal grants to help district attorneys, sheriffs and other criminal justice agencies strengthen and enhance their ongoing efforts to combat heroin and opioid abuse in Massachusetts.

That includes over $178,000 awarded to the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Department and over $165,000 to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office.

“Law enforcement is on the front lines of the opioid crisis and it’s incumbent on us to provide them with every available resource to save lives,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants provide yet another tool for us to begin bending the trend of overdoses and deaths as we combat this epidemic.”

Barnstable County Sheriff Jim Cummings said the grant money will go towards hiring a nurse who will be responsible for pre-release and post-release inmate care and a counselor who will act as a navigator/coach to help people once they’re released.

“We do have people who are addicts in our correctional facility and we’ve been helping them all along as best as we can and now we have some funding to really put some teeth into our programs,” said Cummings. “Hopefully we’ll get people released from jail and back on the street narrow and not have them return to the correctional facility.”

Cummings said he is grateful for the funding, but there is more that needs to be done to combat the opioid epidemic.

“The best way to not get addicted to opioids is to never try them and never use them,” said Cummings. “I think we have a long way to go in that sense, but I think we’re doing a great job fighting overdoses by using narcan and fighting addiction by use of vivitrol and counseling and the many other things that go along with it.”

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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