City Hires First Liaison for Substance Abuse Program; Starts 2/1/16

Chief Michael Sauschuck Announces Plans for the New Position on 12/2/15.

Chief Michael Sauschuck Announces Plans for the New Position on 12/2/15 at a Press Conference at City Hall.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,532)

Oliver G. Bradeen has been hired as Portland’s first Substance Abuse Disorder Liaison.  Bradeen will run the Law Enforcement Addiction Advocacy Program. (“LEAAP”) according to a press release issued today by the city’s spokesperson.  Bradeen will begin his duties on February 1, 2016.  His salary is $45,961.

Bradeen most recently served as the Crisis Police Liaison for The Opportunity Alliance assigned to the Portland Police Department to co-respond with officers to mental health and substance abuse related issues.

“Implementing steps to address this epidemic has been a top priority of mine, I’m thankful that we have quickly been able to hire a full-time dedicated resource to get this program up and running so that we can begin ti proactively assist those struggling with addiction issues,” said City Manager Jon Jennings.  “It is my hope that we can continue to build the capacity of this program over time to achieve an even greater impact for our community.”

LEAAP will replicate the Police Department’s nationally recognized mental health co-responder program.  Bradeen will conduct proactive, regular, ongoing outreach with known drug users.  He will develop relationships in the community, act as a subject matter expert to the police department and assist hose suffering from substance abuse disorders in exploring treatment options.  Finally, Bradeen will provide education and awareness to police officers and the community with the goal of transforming the collective mindset so that addiction is viewed as a medical problem, not a criminal issue.  He will also serve family members and friends seeking advice and assistance in obtaining help for their loves ones.

“I’m really pleased that we had a great applicant pool to choose from and I’m eager to hae Oliver on board so we can begin to hep our residents,” said Police Chief Michael Sauschuck.  “We are certainly committed to a war on addiction rather than a war on addicts, however we will continue to arrest and seek the most severe punishments for the traffickers who bring this poison into our community.”

The position will be funded using asset forfeiture money seized from drug dealers.  Bradeen will be located at the police station on Middle Street, working closely with officers and detectives on the streets and in the neighborhoods.  He will engage known users who have been identified by officers, community policing coordinators, drug intelligence and even family members – and then provide support and offer treatment options.

Please see post dated December 2, 2015 herein for more background information.