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Michigan State Police Angel Program needs more volunteers

Michigan State Police Angel Program needs more volunteers

GAYLORD, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- The Michigan State Police launched its Angel Program about two years ago to help people find the right treatment for drug addiction, without having to worry about getting in trouble with the law.

If someone is looking for help, all they have to do is walk into their local state police post, and troopers and volunteers will walk them through the process of finding help.

The Gaylord Post was chosen as a pilot for the Angel Program about two years ago.

“The reason they picked us specifically here in northern Michigan is because we know that in northern Michigan, we prescribe more opiates than anywhere else per capita in the state," said Trooper Corey Hebner.

People who walk in for the Angel Program aren't arrested or investigated for using drugs.

They can even bring in drugs or drug paraphernalia to be disposed of.

“There’s no tricks," Hebner said. "If you come into the state police post and say you want help, we’re going to get you that help. That’s why the program was designed, and that’s what it’s for.”

The only two things that can disqualify you are having active warrants, or being a registered sex offender.

The program depends largely on its volunteers, and is always searching for more.

“I’m a person in long-term recovery, and for me that means since April 21, 2012. I haven't found it necessary to pick up a drink or a drug, and part of the Angel Program is helping people like myself find their way into treatment, once they find that gift of surrender," said Jason DeBeck, who volunteers for the Angel Program.

Since it started, about 20 people have gone through the program in the district covering the northern Lower Peninsula.

Four of them walked into the Gaylord Post.

“I myself have helped at least one person, and if that one person goes from treatment into a program of recovery and a life-long abstinence, this program’s a success," DeBeck said.

The Michigan State Police say the greatest need for volunteers now is in the Cadillac and Traverse City areas.

Almost 200 police departments nation-wide have now joined the Angel Program.

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