Hills police partnership brings ‘compassionate’ overdose response

The Farmington Hills Police Department and Families Against Narcotics (FAN) have teamed up to help those struggling with substance abuse.

The FAN COMEBACK Quick Response Team offers a compassionate way to help those dealing with either Substance Use Disorder or Opioid Use Disorder. The three-member unit includes a police officer, certified peer recovery coach, and certified family recovery coach.

Within 72 hours of a non-fatal drug overdose, the team visits the person who overdosed, as well as their family. They will provide support, information, help with recovery services, and connection to community resources.

Farmington Hills Police Department Quick Response Team

Launched in 2020 as a pilot program with the Sterling Heights Police Department, the FAN COMEBACK QRT initiative has expanded to departments in cities and counties across Michigan.

Officers on the Farmington Hills Quick Response Team include Detective Joe Mertes, Detective Bob Gerak, Detective Matt Smith, Detective Sergeant Chad Double, and Detective Travis Malott.

Police Chief Jeff King during a June 7 press conference said the initiative builds on “the excellent relationship we have with FAN and our Hope Not Handcuffs program.”

“The Quick Response Team is the next evolution of Families Against Narcotics and the Farmington Hills Police Department’s commitment to saving lives and combating substance use disorder in our community,” he said.

Impact100 Oakland County, an organization that supports nonprofits serving Oakland County, provides funding. Since March 2021, QRT programs supported by Impact100 have made 56 home visits and helped 40 families.

Robyn Roberts, board member and director of external communications, had high praise for FAN and the COMEBACK initiative. Impact100 has provided funding since 2020.

“Our members were inspired by FAN’s mission and the incredible work they do to provide recovery resources to individuals and families in our communities,” she said. “Impact100 OC is amazed by the success of the QRT program, and we are absolutely thrilled about the Farmington Hills launch.”

Learn more about FAN at familiesagainstnarcotics.org.

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