Police officer’s experiment to fight opioid epidemic starts with ditching uniform

For 22 years, Deputy Charles Johnson has started his workday by putting on his police uniform. But he won’t be wearing that uniform today, tomorrow or anytime soon. Johnson is part of an experiment to help curb the opioid epidemic in Ohio, where on average, eight people die every day from unintentional drug overdoses.  Instead of arresting people who use heroin, Johnson tries to help them. He drives them to their detox appointments. He visits them at home and meets their families. He helps them find work. He takes their phone calls in the middle of the night when they have the urge to shoot up.  That’s why Johnson wears a coat and tie instead of a police uniform and why he drives a regular car instead of a sheriff’s cruiser. He wants his clients, as he calls them, to feel like he’s more of a counselor and less of a cop. You can view the video from this link.

 

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