September 24, 2018

MSP seeking volunteers for Angel Program


WEST BRANCH — In an effort to extend its three-phase approach to combat illegal drugs, the Michigan State Police is rolling out Angel Programs across the state to provide drug addicts an additional option when seeking treatment and sobriety.

Community Service Trooper Shane Noble said to get the program off the ground at the West Branch post, he needs volunteers.

“Our philosophy is that we support a three-pronged approach to combat illegal drugs — enforcement, prevention and education, and treatment,” Noble said. “The objective of the program is to allow for persons with drug addictions to come to the post seeking assistance without the fear of investigation.”

The MSP Angel Program allows people with addictions to come to the post and a volunteer “angel” will transport them to treatment centers around the state, Noble said.

The hope is to get the program off the ground by Nov. 1. However, to do so Noble needs volunteers.

To be an angel, there is a list of requirements. However, Noble hopes they won’t deter interested people. The requirements range from needing to be 21 or older with a valid driver’s license and having a reliable, registered and insured vehicle to being willing to submit to a criminal background check and attend any mandatory trainings.

“Volunteers will be trained at the post as part of the program,” Noble said. “Their responsibilities will be to transport people to treatment centers.”

Other responsibilities will be to listen and engage with the participants, provide resources and encouragement and assist addicts with program paperwork when needed.

“For someone to come here, they are at their last step,” Noble said.

Addiction is a problem that is plaguing the country and the county, according to Ogemaw County Prosecutor LaDonna Schultz. Schultz is in favor of the program and is submitting a memorandum of understanding to the post.

“I am going to direct that a person that comes into the post for substance abuse help and may currently be using or possessing drugs will not face any criminal sanctions or charges,” Schultz said.

Many of the criminal cases Schultz sees in the court system have an underlying connection to drugs and addictions.

“Desperate people do desperate things, so if they are addicted to drugs they might break into someone’s house to steal drugs or money,” Schultz said. “People addicted to drugs are not themselves.”

People interested in being angel volunteers should contact the MSP West Branch Post at 989-345-0956.


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