State creates law enforcement assisted programs for addicts
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Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation that will establish law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery referral programs throughout the state.
The new law requires the director of the state's mental health and addiction services division, with help from the state attorney general, to develop rules that will allow county and municipal law enforcement agencies to establish their own programs. They also will develop and implement guidelines for recruiting and training law enforcement officers, volunteers and treatment providers to participate in the programs.
The Republican governor signed the measure Wednesday.
Christie said people battling addiction often have "negative, counterproductive and repeated interactions" with the criminal justice system. He said the new law allows police officers to become a point of access for addicts in helping them obtain treatment and other help.