The team at Prevention is Key (PIK) would like to thank Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp for his commitment to prevention and recovery over the past eight years, and his active involvement with so many valuable programs.
Though he was officially confirmed in 2014, Prosecutor Knapp has been serving in the role since 2012 when he was appointed temporary Prosecutor by Governor Chris Christie. In only eight years’ time, Prosecutor Knapp has had a marked impact on the prevention and recovery community.
A warrior in the fight against opioid addiction, Prosecutor Knapp played a crucial role in the development and roll-out of Narcan 2.0, a program that gives survivors a meaningful second chance at recovery, helping them to break the cycle of addiction. With his support, the Narcan 2.0 program has seen a 65% acceptance rate over the last four years, translating to dozens of lives changed.
In addition to his work with the Narcan program, Prosecutor Knapp partnered with PIK and local law enforcement to install prescription medication drop boxes at every Morris County police department to address the issue of easy access to in-home prescription medication within the youth community. He was also the driving force behind the Morris County Opioid Task Force, and initiated various community programs that help individuals with a substance use disorder and increase awareness among the community about the dangers of opioid use.
We also thank Prosecutor Knapp for including CARES Peer Recovery Specialists Operation Helping Hand—a very successful program that empowers law enforcement officers to proactively connect individuals suffering from opioid use disorder with treatment and or recovery support services.
We are grateful for our partnership with Prosecutor Knapp over the past several years. We thank him for his ongoing attention to the opioid crisis and for the many hearts and lives that have been changed as a result.
“I’ve been fortunate to partner with Prosecutor Knapp on numerous initiatives, including whole county prevention education conferences and community events, but one of my first memories goes back to 2012, during Prosecutor Knapp’s first months in office. It was then that I asked him to please help in our efforts to install permanent prescription medication drop boxes in each of the police departments. I explained how young people were finding prescription medication in their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets and using them to get high, sometimes starting a cycle of dependence and addiction. Having a drop box in each Morris County town, where residents could dispose of unused or expired drugs safely and easily, would reduce youth access to these sometimes-dangerous pain medications. Prosecutor Knapp recognized this strategy as one more tool in confronting opioid abuse among young people. So, he immediately worked with all of Morris County law enforcement to start the process!” – Barbara Kauffman, Director of Prevention Services at Prevention is Key
“We were proud to work with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office on several community wellness initiatives in Morris County, and we look forward to continuing to provide impactful services to those affected by substance use disorder. Police assisted community wellness models like Operation Helping Hands have transformed hearts and minds. One story I’d light to highlight is about an individual who was seeking services through Operation Helping Hand and was feeling hopeless. Sergeant James Bruno of the Special Enforcement Unit went above and beyond to make this individual feel a sense of purpose and self-worth. The individual asked me if he was being “punked” because he had never felt so welcomed and supported by an officer. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office treats substance use as the illness it is, rather than a moral failing. Sergeant Bruno’s continued dedication to lead his team and initiatives with a compassionate conviction to help people in Morris County is what true community wellness models are about” – Erika Shortway, Director of Recovery Services, OHH Peer
“I have been working with members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office since 2017, when I first started working at CARES. I was involved in several of the initiatives in which CARES collaborated with the Prosecutor’s Office. I considered our relationship with Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seabury and the entire department to be a learning relationship, meaning that they are consistently willing to learn from us and vice versa. As we learn together, we grow together, and we become more impactful in the community. I have seen the real results of that partnership among the prosecutor’s office, CARES, and Morris County.” – Emily Monks, Manager of Recovery Services, OHH Peer
“While working with Morris County Prosecutor’s Office during Operation Helping Hand, I have seen individuals make connections with a support system that they didn’t even know they had access to through CARES peers. They are grateful for the connection. Police initiatives that link people to peers shift the perspectives of the individuals and the officers by showing that we are all in the same community and are looking to help each other, not judge each other.” – Kelly LaBar, Passaic County Coordinator, OHH PEER
“I have had the pleasure of participating in initiatives like Operation Helping Hands (OHH) alongside the Morris County Prosecutor’s office. I have nothing but good things to say about this partnership. To see the hearts and minds of law enforcement open up to the idea of helping people who struggle with substance use is a significant accomplishment in the mission of breaking stigma and opening more doorways to recovery for individuals and their loved ones. The collaborative effort between law enforcement and certified peer recovery specialists in OHH is very inspiring. I was humbled to be work with members of such an encouraging team, namely Detective Supervisor Stephanie Merced of the Special Enforcement Unit. Her leadership and attitude are second to none. She established an environment where I felt included and was granted the space to provide the best possible peer recovery support I could. I can’t wait to see this initiative and relationship with the Prosecutor’s Office expand and develop. I believe the work that is done is very important, especially during these times.” – Caroline Bailey, Opiate Overdose Prevention Coordinator, OHH PEER