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Rochester Looks to Replicate Manchester's Safe Station Program


The city of Rochester is exploring launching a Safe Station program modeled after the one in Manchester.

The idea behind Manchester’s program is that anyone who wants help fighting their addiction can walk into any city fire station, at any time, and get connected with treatment services.

Rochester Mayor Caroline McCarley has been closely following the program and wants it, or something like it, in her city.

McCarley says Rochester has already partnered with the local hospital to create a recovery center, but she hopes a safe station program will help with the first step of just getting people in the door.

“We’ve had the same lack of success that other communities have with individuals just not being comfortable going to a police station to seek help.”

"And that I think is the best that you can do because then a lot of it is going to come down to the individual committed to wanting to make the change. But if you can have it there immediately for someone to say 'yes, today, this is the time, I'm doing this'. And they know that you can go to the fire department and somebody's going to be there to help."

She also notes that people are sometimes hesitant to approach police officers for help with drug addiction.

McCarley says there are still important details to work out, including how to pay for extra staffing at the fire station.

She hopes a program will be in place in a matter of months.

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