Gloucester, Ma., Police Chief Leonard Campanello, who was honored at the White House for his efforts to combat opiate addiction, was placed on paid leave yesterday amid an internal investigation, the Boston Globe reports. Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken did not indicate why Campanello was placed on leave. In April, the White House honored Campanello as a “Champion of Change’’ for reaching out to people struggling with drug addiction instead of shuttling them into the criminal justice system. He promotes “alternative policing,” which combines the best ideas from traditional policing and community policing into a collaborative effort to reduce crime, says his biography on the police department’s website.
Last year, he launched the Angel Initiative, which allows addicts to walk into the police station with drugs or needles without fear of facing criminal charges. Since the police’s Angel Program began on June 1, 30 addicts have been fast-tracked into rehab. They are assigned an “angel” to steer them into drug treatment programs. Campanello joined with businessman John Rosenthal to launch the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, which has helped launch similar programs in nearly 100 police departments in 22 states.