New Haven Police To Pass Out Free Crack Pipes With Drug Use Kits

Holly Matkin

New Haven police will distribute "harm reduction kits" including glass pipes, clean syringes, and other items.

New Haven, CT – New Haven police will be distributing glass “crack” pipes and clean syringes to addicts in an attempt to lower users’ risk of overdosing or contracting HIV.

Officers often seize and discard such items when making arrests, leaving addicts desperate for a fix when they are released from jail, New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said during a press conference on Thursday, the New Haven Register reported.

That desperation can lead them to hastily make unsafe decisions like sharing needles or using equipment they are unfamiliar with, which increases their risk of overdosing or contracting HIV, the New Haven Register reported.

As a result, the New Haven Police Department (NHPD) will now be gifting clean syringes, condoms, tourniquets, Brillo pads to use as filters for smoking crack cocaine, glass pipes, fentanyl test strips, and other items as part of a “harm reduction kit,” Chief Reyes said.

“Clean needles, sterile water, there’s some burners, there’s cotton,” former New Haven Police Sergeant Robert Lawler told WVIT. “It’s a basic harm reduction kit.”

“We’re not promoting drug use, New Haven Police Lieutenant Nick Marcucio added. "We’re trying to help them until they’re ready...for treatment."

The kits will also contain information about treatment options in the city, as well as a numbering system to help track how many users end up seeking help, the New Haven Register reported.

Signs with information about the kits will be posted in each jail cell so inmates can decide whether or not to ask for one when they’re booked out.

“While many think that the primary responsibility of police is to protect and enforce the laws, for us in New Haven, the primary responsibility is the protection and the preservation of life,” Chief Reyes told reporters. “Although there are many situations where we have to arrest, we want our people to know that want to we support every individual’s road to recovery.”

“This epidemic is complicated. This affects every facet of our community. And the New Haven Police Department cares deeply about every member of its community,” the chief added.

The NHPD will be the first department in Connecticut to dole out such kits, Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon told the New Haven Register.

Delphin-Rittmon praised the effort, and said it will take “all of us working together” to help addicts “move into long-term recovery.”

“Individuals released from incarceration, they’re vulnerable, and vulnerable to overdose,” she said. “Giving individuals harm reduction kits and tools to keep them safe will undoubtedly save lives.”

“New Haven has shown, as a city, that they’re committed to addressing this crisis collaboratively, with a number of other community partners,” Delphin-Rittmon added.

Licensed social worker and addiction counselor Joanne Montgomery said that she has been in recovery for the past 25 years, and that this program will help addicts without shaming them, WFSB reported.

"Harm reduction meets people where they're at in a non-judgmental, compassionate way," Montgomery said.

Chief Reyes said he is proud to be a part of the harm reduction kit program, the New Haven Register reported.

“When we talk about solving problems, at the very core, it’s really analyzing what’s at the root of the problem if we’re really looking to add sustainable solutions to the mix. And so that’s what we’re looking to do,” the chief said.

“I think our officers have been indoctrinated with that mindset. This is just one step further, where we’re adding to that philosophy for the New Haven Police Department. So, we’re proud to say that this is something that is seamless for us, and we welcome it,” he added.

Comments (122)
No. 1-49
Kdye
Kdye

This is stupid!!

ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

Harm Reduction Kits. Dear Chief you are a fucking idiot. With all due respect of course.

Aramovich
Aramovich

Addicts are pretty helpless until rehab or they wouldn't be addicts. If these kits reduce the events where addicts use the emergency systems and the cops it may just be a good idea. More ambulances for the regular folks, and less disease.

flybynight
flybynight

Once they see the folly of this, the people that dreamed this up will very quietly shut it down.🙈🙉🙊

Ibizian
Ibizian

So do the burglars get prybars and burglary tools so they can go right back to the behavior that got them arrested too?

Do the rapists get condoms and chloroform too?

Moronic!

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

Most sane jurisdictions charge people at least misdemeanors for possession of drug paraphernalia - "It was from a harm reduction kit" will be every tweaker's defense.

Insanity.

Bigyoda20
Bigyoda20

Fucking stupid!

JBoH
JBoH

I almost fell on the floor laughing but then I realized they're serious! It's really not April Fool's day!

JBoH
JBoH

"We’re not promoting drug use..."

Of course you're not. /snicker, wink, wink, nod

JMc
JMc

Better to give them all the drugs they want and a safe place to enjoy them and let nature take it's course...

K9-Police20
K9-Police20

Have the guts CALL THEM!!! not going to accomplish posting it in here

Address: 1 Union Ave, New Haven, CT 06519

Hours:
Open 24 hours

Phone: (203) 946-6316

DR226
DR226

Suicide Kits and how many syringes will be disposed of properly?

MaxD
MaxD

By all means. Lets give burglars bats so they can break windows safely, or else , "they may end using equipment they are unfamiliar with, which increases their risk of getting cut while breaking into someone else's house." Let's give rapists condoms so they don't possibly catch an STD from an "unfamiliar" woman they rape.

Then the chief starts in on the "solving problems" and points the finger at his Officers being " indoctrinated with that mindset." Yeah, hey chief, have you ever looked at the crime stats near ANY Methadone shoot up site, or any local drug house? Yeah quite the shame if criminals share a needle after they've broken into someone's car or house to sell a $300 item they stole after causing $600 in damage for a $5 crack rock. Idiot liberals.

LostAllSanity
LostAllSanity

Some good ideas in the Comments... Chief, maybe you could set up a Gift Shop in the County Lockup - Drug Paraphernalia, Tested and Approved Drugs, Sure Grip Pry Bars, Spiked Ball Bats (with gloves of course), a Slim Jim Pro, a Prepaid Cellphone (just in case the house has a dog) and I would bet that in New Haven you could get a non-profit to provide T-Shirts (I Get My Drugs at New Haven PD).

RPG156
RPG156

Its time to start looking for a new employer....

Bellacat
Bellacat

So people who break the laws, are not productive citizens and a burden to society get free “harm reduction kits”. While tax paying citizens who find themselves with medical diagnosis have to pay for care. I would like to have LEO’s respond to my post. Maybe you can shed some light on this and help me understand their method of madness. 😊

asillyrabbit551
asillyrabbit551

you might as well gift them the crack and heroin as well, just so they don't go robbing people for money to buy the shit.

bucktown12
bucktown12

This is so great,NOT. Give the addicts what they need for a problem they created,for free. Yet people with cancer have to pay for all there drugs from something they did not create. Why give them items to prolong the addiction for free, STUPID! and yet the cancer drugs have to be paid by the person with cancer, but if you create your own problem(addiction) the drugs are FREE. AGAIN S T U P I D !!!

YouAreAllRetards
YouAreAllRetards

Wow, all these commenters here really miss the mark.

First of all, studies have shown that harm reduction actually works. Unlike all of your armchair theories, it's been shown in PEER REVIEWED papers that harm reduction reduces crime, deaths, violence, etc. Get your heads out of your butt cracks and learn to read and critically think.

Nextly, do we really need to remind all you white people (go ahead, ask me how I know you're all crackers) the difference between crimes committed against another person, and "victimless" crimes like drug abuse?

Sure, there's a "victim" but you Trump voters would be wise to remember - government saying I can't smoke crack is AKIN to government saying I have to buy Obamacare. Yes, let that sink in. It's not that different.

I'm ashamed that you all are my fellow humans. Hopefully you're all boomers with diabetes and cancer so we can get on with the world you guys ruined in short order. What a bunch of idiots.

afintel
afintel

Chief, just remember to direct your officers NOT to arrest the addicts:

  1. for littering for disposing of the needles and pipes in parking lots, parks and playgrounds; and

  2. shitting on the sidewalks and streets

There was one more part of the “San Francisco Crime Fighting Strategy”, but I can’t remember what it was…

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

Why don’t you just gift them the crack as well you idiot! All you’re doing is enabling them and if/when they OD from one of YOUR gifted kits, I hope you can afford the consequences.

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

May I ask does the department provide martial arts training to suspects so they can protect themselves from angry victims? All part of the harm reduction kit.
IQ tests should be a requirement for promotion, not just colleges credits!

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

Holy Toledo Batman, the chief is the JOKER in disguise!

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

Robin, my BATBELT is too heavy, I can't get up my BATROPE!

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

THIS IS YOUR STORY THAT I EDITED SO YOUR MAMA WILL BE PROUD!

Wow, all these commenters here really miss the mark.
First of all, studies have shown that harm reduction works. Unlike all of your armchair theories, it's been shown(passive voice) in PEER-REVIEWED papers that harm reduction reduces crime, deaths, violence, etc. Get your heads out of your butt cracks and learn to read and critically think.
Nextly, do we need to remind all you white people (go ahead, ask me how I know you're all crackers) the difference between crimes committed against another person, and "victimless" crimes like drug abuse?
Sure, there's a "victim" but you Trump voters would be wise to remember – THE government saying I can't smoke crack is AKIN to the government saying I have to buy Obamacare. Yes, let that sink in. It's not that different.
I'm ashamed that you all are my fellow humans. Hopefully, you're all boomers with diabetes and cancer so we can get on with the world you guys ruined in short order. What a bunch of idiots.

PS: over 70,000 deaths from opioids in 2017 alone. THESE PEOPLE ARE VICTIMLESS, not to mentions thousands of deaths from other VICTIMLESS CRIMES. DRUG CARTEL LIVE OFF OF VICTIMS, how do you sleep at night?

You can’t spell, write, put two words together that are true. You call everyone here CRACKERS, TALK ABOUT OLD FOLKS, OK BOOMER! I hope your mom does not read your work; I truly do, as I am sure she did her best.

colonelorville
colonelorville

Oh, well. Why not? Everything else in our BELOVED COUNTRY is going to HELL! From a FOUL-MOUTHED PRESIDENT to MY ONCE FAVORITE CITY THAT ELECTS A-NOT SURE HOW TO DESCRIBE HIM-DISTRICT ATTORNEY!

nuccten
nuccten

Well at least make sure all these items are made in America!

djb032
djb032

Another example of a book smart/ no common sense individual rising through the ranks...and once again instead of making individuals responsible for their actions, you put the blame on society and make the individual the victim.....so glad I'm retired!!!

djb032
djb032

Would love to hear from Chiefs and Sheriffs from surrounding communities, as to how they feel about this

pixiepup
pixiepup

They r out of their minds! No incentive to get off drugs. That should not be responsibility of police.

modixie
modixie

Why not hand them a few rocks while your at it. Make it real easy for the poor mistreated people. Fill the syringes with the hit of their choice and wish them well.

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Is this another demonrat run city? It has to be.

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

How about gun safety classes for bank robbers?

SAAM
SAAM

I think California is going to annex New Haven.

Sharonmk
Sharonmk

Don't forget to kiss their rears to seal the deal.

NFPD103
NFPD103

This has to be the dumbest thing. They are giving them a drug paraphernalia kit what's next one free hit in each unit. If they really wanted to help these people then spend the money to actually treat them. That doesn't happen because it costs too much. So shove the feel good pointless shit for the cops to do. Until one of these idiots overdoses using one of these kits and their family lawyers up and looks for a.payday.

magnumforc
magnumforc

Maybe the self-cleansing of natural order should take place. Choose drugs and let the funerals begin. I am so damned tired of coddling the addicts and paying their medical bills time after time. If they die, they die. Next we will have to hand out sanitized bullets for suicides or clean knives. WTF???

rjl0639
rjl0639

They did it to themselves. Let them pay the price. All this does is make it OK for bad behavior and sends the wrong message to the people. We must stop supporting bad behavior!

Budman2082
Budman2082

Chief Reyes has to be another of those “new age” liberal Police Chiefs. I feel sorry for those New Haven street cops, what an embarrassment.

Budman2082
Budman2082

Listen you Flaming Asshole. Drug Addiction is NOT a victimless crime. Where do you think these drug users get the money to buy drugs? How about, burglaries, robberies, assaults prostitution just to name a few. And how about the families of these victims whose whole life may now have changed. How about family who comes home and finds their 16 year old dead from an overdose. Aren’t they victims too. You bet they are.

.

ElleD
ElleD

Where is all the media outrage?

vwiles34
vwiles34

So if they get arrested for posesion of drug paraphanalia in a neighboring jurisdiction will they charge the officer who gave them the kit as an accomplice?

LivesMatter
LivesMatter

If you think it through more there could be a good side. REGISTER to get the supplies. Drivers, address, b-day, photographed... nearly a full offenders list that can be monitored and referenced in the future for petty crime or worse. Making a database of possible users but is just a list of names of people who volunteered to register and sign the disclaimers. A little sliver of a good side I suppose. Each kit would have a serial numbers on everything so that can be tracked to where it was found as litter. There is a simple evidence collection tool. Except... yuck.

Jason942-
Jason942-

So what crack head thought this was a good idea?

LAW169
LAW169

We could be defeated as a nation because everyone is on a government sponsored HIGH. If we don’t defeat this drug problem with Elliot Ness tactics, we’re going to be severely weakened socially and militarily.

China had similar problem with opium, which led to the fall of a mighty empire. But I don’t think the Emperor handed out free needles or opium pipes. I’m pretty sure you still had to pay for your opium den high and sleep off.

Marine.001
Marine.001

Goldberg’s dad says it best
Your a MORON

ShadowGryphon
ShadowGryphon

Not to be heartless, but, let them OD.

Marxest
Marxest

People aren't going to stop using and abusing drugs. Incarceration doesn't serve as a deterrent, incarcerating these people places a huge financial burden upon the state. Harm reduction is the next best thing. It's the best idea so far.

Ghost_00000001
Ghost_00000001

The only real zombie apocalypse where non drug users are the only ones not infected.


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