Second Chance-Heroin Amnesty Program

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Heroin overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.  Over the past several years, heroin overdose has been a public health concern in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Rolling Meadows suffered numerous overdoses and overdose deaths throughout my career. Incarcerating heroin addicts in the Rolling Meadows Police Department jail is counterproductive and a drain on policing resources. 

To help reduce the number of fatal and nonfatal overdoses in Rolling Meadows, we are changing the way we handle addicts who request help with their addiction to heroin.  It is recognized that there is a narrow window, generally 12 – 24 hours, to help a person addicted to heroin when they decide they want help.  The purpose of this program is to divert them away from the criminal justice system and immediately to treatment. 

Rolling Meadows Police officers are in a unique position to offer help to those who need it by partnering with a local heroin intervention program. The Rolling Meadows Police Department has adopted the following “Second Chance” policy, effective October 1, 2015, to address the needs of any Rolling Meadows resident who comes into the Rolling Meadows Police Department requesting help with their opiate addiction. 


To present residents of the City of Rolling Meadows who are heroin users with a second chance to recovery without punishment by law enforcement.

To connect heroin addicts with treatment programs and facilities.

To help distribute lifesaving heroin blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses.


Any Rolling Meadows resident who enters the police station and requests help with their addiction to heroin will be immediately screened into the Heroin Outreach Program. If such a person who has requested help with their addiction is in possession of drugs or their drug paraphernalia (needles, etc.), they will not be charged or prosecuted.  Any officers having contact with anyone entering the Rolling Meadows Police Department and requesting help with their addiction will be professional, compassionate and understanding at all times. 


Treatment Outreach    A person designated by the Police Chief who determines appropriate

Coordinator:              placement for program participants and has direct contact with treatment



The Shift Supervisor will take the following steps:

Assign an officer to meet with, monitor, and begin the “Intake” paperwork with the program participant. The officer will immediately notify the Shift Supervisor that a potential heroin addict is requesting help with their addiction. Officers will not run warrant checks but will work with the department outreach specialist to find help for the addict through a variety of programs.

  • Therapeutic Intervention staff will insure that Intake, Program Participant Agreement Forms, and Release of Information are completed.
  • For those addicts who need a non-methadone approach the Outreach specialists will contact the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center located at 506 North Des Plaines Street in Chicago. Their program offers rehabilitation to persons struggling with addictions to cocaine, heroin and alcohol. They are able to host 200 people at the time; 170 men and 30 women. They do not have an extensive list of requirements to join the program, only that the individual is ready to begin their recovery, is clean the day they enter the program, that they have a social security number or identification, and that they not be a registered sex offender. This program can be offered to non-residents at their own expense.

This rehabilitation center offers a dorm style communal living where the recovering person can stay for up to a year. During that time the person in recovery receives treatment, case management, attends AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), CA (Cocaine Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings, works a job for the Salvation Army, and is trained in general life skills, career building, coping with stress, and financial literacy among others.

  • For those addicts who are Rolling Meadows residents and are minors, who have been experimentally abusing substances including cannabis or alcohol; and have been referred through the peer jury program, the outreach specialist in concert with the department juvenile officer can contact a SAC who will schedule group sessions; or individual assessments for the families, with the parents authorization.
  • If any drugs and/or drug equipment are turned over, they shall be documented on the in-take form; upon completion of documentation properly disposed of.  The supervisor will ensure a police report was generated and contained appropriate documentation to include:  brief background, whether or not drugs or drug equipment was turned over.
  • If needed for a medical condition, contact the RMFD and inform them there is a heroin addict who needs to be medically evaluated.  The officer will respond to the ER and provide the necessary information and support to Emergency Room Staff. The outreach specialist will also be notified.
  • If the participant is unable to be placed after exhausting all possible methods, the participant is not to leave without being given a plan to continue with help. The participant shall be afforded every courtesy to find them a safe place upon departure by the department outreach specialist. 

The OFFICER WILL have the following responsibilities

  • All officers having contact with anyone requesting help with their addiction will be professional, compassionate and understanding at all times. 
  • If the initial contact is made on the street and is initiated by the officer, officer will use their discretion, which is exercised on a daily basis. For the purposes of a participant turning over drugs or drug equipment, this program is specifically and exclusively applies to persons who present at the police station for help.  Exceptions will only be made by the Police Chief. 
  • Any officer who has been assigned to the participant by the Shift Supervisor will have the participant complete a Second Chance Intake Form, sign a Program Participant Agreement Form, complete their Release of Information form.  These forms will be turned into the Outreach Specialists.
  • The officer will make the Shift Supervisor aware of any issues or concerns.
  • If the department provides transport to Therapeutic Interventions, or the Salvation Army, 2 officers will transport.
  • Prior to transport of the participant, the officer will conduct a search of the participant and the participant’s belongings for anything that could cause a safety concern or illegal drugs / drug equipment.  This will require the consent of the participant.  If the participant fails to provide consent, they will not be eligible for this program. 


Naloxone is traditionally administered by emergency response personnel and can be administered by a minimally trained lay person, first responder or family member. Naloxone can be administered by injection, nasal spray or pill. 

Therapeutic Interventions is willing to provide the participants family members with an injector that will be billed to the police department. 

Procedures and Cost

The program will be advertised through media and social media outlets announcing the ability for heroin users, who are residents of the City of Rolling Meadows that are seeking recovery to come to the police station and turn in their heroin and paraphernalia to receive free treatment without any legal ramifications.   Participants must be 18 years or older, unless an exception is approved by the department outreach worker, Chief of Police and juveniles guardian.

Participant’s drugs and or paraphernalia will be disposed of accordingly through departmental disposal policy.  

Upon turn in of items to departmental personnel the participant will be given a Therapeutic Interventions Patient business card with a control number attached for auditing purposes, as a referral to the HEROIN Treatment Program, or a referral to the Salvation Army.  The referral may include an assessment for treatment with a counselor and a physical exam with a physician for evaluation of treatment.   

The Rolling Meadows Police Department will reimburse Therapeutic Interventions for all treatment fees involved with the initial 6 day a week, 3 month treatment program.  Therapeutic Interventions weekly fee is $72.  Total departmental cost for a participant will be $864. Salvation Army referrals are of no cost.


A person seeking help with their addiction to heroin may be deemed INELIGIBLE to participate in the Second Chance Outreach Program if:

  • The officer or shift supervisor expresses the reasonable belief that the Outreach Specialists could be seriously harmed by the subject.
  • The subject is under age 18 and does not have parent or guardian consent.
  • If the subject presents with any signs or symptoms of withdrawal or any other clear medical conditions, or simply requests at the time of intake, he or she will be immediately transported to a Hospital Emergency Room.


By Order of,

Chief of Police