If you read American Police Beat, you’ve probably heard of Chief Leonard Campanello.
The Gloucester, Massachusetts, police chief is gaining national and international attention for a common-sense program he started, which deals with opioid addiction.
If addicts want to kick drugs and have nowhere to turn, they can come the Gloucester PD, where they’ll get help finding treatment rather than being arrested, released, and then arrested and released some more.
Campanello’s innovative program (see the July issue of APB for the full story) is not the kind of thing a lot of bosses would try, and there’s been some pushback.
As many Americans are beginning to understand the role the pharmaceutical industry plays in increasing rates of drug addiction in the U.S., some people are asking that these multi-national companies be held accountable for flooding the market with dangerous and wildly addictive drugs like oxycontin.
Campanello recently asked his Facebook friends to email the drug companies with a simple question—a classic grass-roots approach to civic responsibility.
Campanello said citizens should “just politely ask them what they are doing to address the opioid epidemic… and if they realize that the latest data shows almost 80 percent of addicted persons start with a legally prescribed drug that they make.”
Needless to say, Big Pharma didn’t wait long to send out the attack dogs—or attorneys, as they’re sometimes called.
“The police have a lot of nerve trying to target private citizens to do things the police should do,” said attorney Harvey Silverglate, based in Cambridge.
“It’s actually worse than just being in bad taste.”
Sometimes you just have stand back and marvel at the willful ignorance and slavish devotion to power that some people exhibit regularly.
The idea that an innovative police chief asking his Facebook followers to send an email or a letter is in “bad taste” is as laughable as the idea that the drug companies don’t make a killing on addictive drugs.