Scarborough Police Chief Robbie Moulton stands in the room at the Scarborough police station where the Operation Hope program is run. The program, which started in 2015, allows people to turn in drugs at the police station without fear of arrest for possession and get referrals and sometimes even scholarships for rehabilitation treatment. The program has placed 475 people since it began. Behind Moulton at right is a board posted with letters of thanks from people who have participated in the program. Gregory Rec/Staff PhotographerSCARBOROUGH — Operation HOPE, the Heroin-Opiate Prevention Effort, at the Scarborough Police Department has been forced to temporarily close its doors due to the recent surge of COVID cases in Maine. In-person assistance has been closed since Dec.13 after an email was sent out; they are hoping to reopen on Jan.10.

“Projected reopening is Jan.10,” Program Analyst Patrick Sugrue said. “The department is going to reevaluate the status of Covid weekly and then make a decision leading up to that date. We are absolutely are still assisting participants in any way possible myself and my colleagues are doing recovery support to past participants, anyone that is actively participating in programs that they were placed at, anyone that has questions about recovery resources, or anyone that is in need of referrals or any other recovery support. We are doing everything we can to try to connect them with the appropriate recourses.” 

Operation HOPE, launched on Oct. 1, 2015, is a program designed to help individuals with substance use disorders and helps them find recovery options. It encourages Maine residents to seek help and experience recovery.

The department will be assessing weekly with their medical liaison for the safety of participants, community and the public safety personnel to determine when it will be safe to reopen. In the meantime, those needing assistance can reach out to Portland Recovery Community Center at 207-533-2575 or call 211 for more resources. Check out the Scarborough Maine Police Department on Facebook for more updates.

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