Meeting Minutes- September 2019

I. Welcome & Introductions

II. District Attorney Tim Cruz

  • The DA provided an overview of the taskforce as many partners from Worcester were in attendance.
  • He acknowledged the pressing issue of vaping and potential legislation in Boston.
  • He announced that all area school resource officers were recently brought together in Brockton to be trained by certified health specialists.

III. Sheriff Joe McDonald

  • Sheriff McDonald introduced Laurel McLean, Substance Use Disorder Unit Director, who provided an overview of services for the trial population.
  • There is a two-week program in place to reach individuals as if it were the last time they see them.
    • Some of the upfront pieces that are addressed in the program include housing, job support, referrals, appointments and then recovery is focused on as well.
  • There is built in transportation after individuals are released which is helpful to keep them engaged within the first 24 hours.
  • There have been relationships established with judges from Drug Court to support information sharing, referrals and motivating clients to treatment.
  • A CORI Friendly Career Fair is coming up which includes many different employers who are offering a career path for individuals.
  • Battle of the Badges was a fundraiser hosted to support local recovery services.
    • The event was held at Westgate Lanes in Brockton and $5,700 was raised.
    • The money will be going to Plymouth Peer Recovery, South Shore Peer Recovery, Independence Academy and 24 Hour Power.
  • The Sheriff announced that the DEA is proposing to control chemicals that illicit manufacturers of fentanyl utilize in order to attack the building blocks.

IV. Legislative Reports

A.  Representative Randy Hunt
  • The Joint Committee for Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery is looking to bring out legislation to push the following things that they want to do:
    • Expansion of harm reduction
    • Evaluation of and reform of section 35
    • Increase in MAT in correctional settings
    • Trauma/PTSD v. Mental health reform
B.  Monica Mullen for Senator Vinny deMacedo
  • Senator deMacedo filed a bill with the Committee for physicians’ assistants to be able to refer people into psychiatric substance use programs.
  • The Cannabis Control Commission has 26 licenses in Plymouth.
    • Host community legislation has been a topic of discussion as there are different towns setting different parameters in their own communities.

V. Grant Report from the District Attorney’s Office

A.  Ed Jacoubs
  • Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative- The grant comes from the Office for Victims of Crime
    • goal of making every school in the county trauma sensitive.
    • The 2 aspects to the Drug Endangered Children Initiative:
      • Plymouth County Outreach goes to the home following an overdose and documents who is at the scene.
      • The Office will be training police departments on how to recognize if children are involved.
        • Handle With Care – communication between the schools and police. 1.
        • Through the initiative, the Family Center is working with DCF when Plymouth County Outreach refers cases to the Family Center.
        • On November 6th, the DA’s Office will be partnering with the National Alliance on Drug Endangered Children to host a training at Stonehill College for about 150 people.
  • The District Attorney’s Office was also awarded a new grant from the Department of Justice for innovations in prosecution. 

VI. Presentations

A.  Cara Henderson- U.S. Attorney’s Office

Cara Henderson is the Community Outreach Specialist, U.S. Attorney’s Office

  • Cara provided an overview of her role in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
  • For her outreach to faith based organizations, she would like to partner with the DA and Sheriff’s Offices.
  • Cara also announced that the New England Conference will be hosted on November 7th and 8th at UMass Boston.

VII. Committee Reports

A.  Database Report- Pam Kelley & Sean Varano
  • The group discussed how homeless individuals are tracked in the PCO database.
    • If the individual is homeless, a follow-up visit is determined “not intended.”
    • PCO makes referrals to a robust homeless response team in Brockton and there is also a high risk assessment team through PCO which currently supports 33 individuals.
  • The group also discussed how PCO deals with individuals outside of the county.
    • The database will be able to track these individuals once counties get on board, there just needs to be a shared understanding before firewalls come down.
  • PCO is about to roll this out with Norfolk County.
B.  Public Safety Subcommittee- Chief Allen & Chief Botieri
  • an overview of PCO program details to Worcester partners in attendance including:
    • the process of sharing data
    • involvement of fire departments
      • There isn’t a lot of involvement from the fire departments in PCO related work, but could be involved if Worcester is interested in having them at the table.
    • communication with the hospitals
    • reports to DCF when children are involved, etc.
  • A 51A is automatically filed if a child is at the scene of a follow-up visit.
  • PCO coordinates with the drug endangered children grant and these standard operating procedures are outlined in their MOU.
  • Chief Boteiri discussed that PCO will now have a $10,000 revolving fund provided by dues from each Plymouth county police department.
  • The overdose deaths in Plymouth County are down 10% this year and were down 26% last year in comparison to a 1% state decrease.
  • PCO will now have a supply of 500 doses of Narcan for police to give out at home visits.
    • Chief Botieri & Chief Allen will be testifying on House Bill 1569 to allow police to hand out Narcan.
    • 1,000 fentanyl test strips were also purchased for recovery coaches to give out
    • Communities will be rolling out Naloxboxes in businesses to have public access to Narcan.
  • The individuals that go through the Champion Plan are not included in PCO numbers.
  • There are about 800 people who’ve collectively gone through the program 1300 times.
  • The Department of Justice has named PCO a National Mentor Site.
C.  Medical Subcommittee- Sara Cloud
  • The committee is working to regionalize medication assisted treatment (MAT) in hospital emergency departments.
D.  Education Subcommittee- Mary Waldron
  • Bridgewater State University recently provided a training on adverse childhood experiences to all of the education and social work students.
E.  Community Coalitions Subcommittee- Gabby Peruccio
  • Prevention Services has been awarded a federal grant to address underage alcohol use and marijuana use among middle school aged students in southeastern, MA.
  • The Fuller Craft Museum’s Human Impact: Stories of the Opioid Epidemic will be on display beginning Saturday, September 28th until May 30, 2020.
  • Saturday, October 26th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day form 10am- 2pm.
    • All local police departments are participating.   (All local departments have a medication drop box available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.)
    •  In Brockton, community members can go to either the Brockton Police Department or the Council on Aging.
F.  Faith Based Coalitions Subcommittee- Dr. Jehle & Deacon Greer
  • The goal is to connect smaller churches in the area.
  • Teen Challenge will be holding their annual banquet on October 12 & 13.
  • Deacon Greer shared that they’ve held one spiritual recovery coach training and that they are training faith community nurses in substance use disorder.

VIII. Adjournment