TROY — Troy City Council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution on Tuesday to implement a new pilot program headed by the Troy Fire Department called the Quick Response Team (QRT).
The QRT is a pilot program partnering with the Miami County Recovery Council. The purpose of the QRT is to intervene with Troy residents who have overdosed on opiates. The team will meet with overdose victims within 72 hours to assess and determine whether the victim is willing and ready to enter into treatment.
President Marty Baker asked of city of Troy Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington that council be updated about the program each quarter to follow its progress. Titterington said the city plans on generating statistics to evaluate the program as well as to provide data to state and other community officials, including the state attorney general. At the end of the year, Titterington said the city will review the QRT’s numbers before deciding to continue with the program for another year.
The QRT will consist of a Troy police officer, a Troy firefighter/paramedic and a Miami County Recovery Council addiction treatment specialist. The team may also include a trained support specialist from a faith-based organization if possible.
“Troy is stepping up to be, I believe, the first community in Miami County to form this team,” Titterington said. “The mayor, myself, the chiefs, we are all committed to trying this.”
The QRT will require a minimum of six hours per week from police and fire department members.
“We will be generating some performance measures to see how successful this approach is — it’s a much different approach than anything we’ve done before,” Titterington said.
Titterington said data may also be used to pursue grants to offset personnel costs.
“We are not sure what those costs are going to be. It maybe a mixture of overtime and on-duty, we don’t know,” Titterington said.
Local attorney Steven Justice provided some background information about the QRT program in Colerain Township north of Cincinnati. The QRT program in that area found 80 percent of those who overdosed sought treatment when approached in the 72 hour window.
“They’ve not only seen a reduction in the amount of people overdosing and who are going into treatment, they’ve seen a reduction in crime,” Justice shared.
Justice is the head of the Miami County Heroin Coalition spearheading Miami County’s efforts to combat opiate addiction since its inception in January. Justice also invited council to attend this weekend’s Hope Over Heroin event being held at the Miami County Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday.
Council member Bobby Phillips, a former police officer in California, said many people believe the city of Troy is sweeping the city’s drug program under the rug, which Phillips said was not true.
“There’s a lot of grass-root efforts being done,” Phillips said.
Phillips also asked Justice to send the city an electronic copy of the coalition’s resources and brochures to post on the city’s website.
Mayor Michael Beamish encouraged council to attend the Hope Over Heroin event.
“I think it’s very important that we continue hope over heroin,”said Beamish before listing off other city events this weekend.
Melanie Yingst can be reached at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews