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Co-founder of opioid recovery initiative fired from police chief post

October 4, 2016
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The municipal police chief who has become a nationally prominent figure for pioneering efforts to alter police departments' response to opioid possession and use has been fired from his local post. Gloucester, Mass., officials on Oct. 3 dismissed Police Chief Leonard Campanello for what they said was the destruction of evidence in a probe of his personal conduct.

According to local media reports, city officials say Campanello deleted hundreds of text messages from his city-owned cellphone and then sent it to his attorney instead of leaving it with the city after he was placed on administrative leave. Officials believe the texts included messages from a woman whose relationship with the chief is being investigated.

The Boston Globe reported that an investigator said two women “may have been in fear for their safety” stemming from their interactions with Campanello. The chief's attorney has labeled the city's investigation a witch hunt.

Campanello's efforts in Gloucester to allow opioid users to turn in their drugs at police headquarters and be connected to treatment services became a national model, leading to the formation of the still-growing national Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.).