Safe Passage

GCSO-Safe-Passage-Badge-980x980Background:Opiate overdose is the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States. Over the past several years, opiate overdose has been a major public health concern in Grundy County, Illinois. In 2019, Grundy County suffered a total of 10 overdose deaths which were from heroin/fentanyl and opiates. In 2020, Grundy County suffered a total of 18 overdose deaths which were from heroin/fentanyl and opiates. The deaths did not discriminate with the youngest victim being 25 and the oldest victim being 63 years old.
To help reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal overdoses in Grundy County, we are changing the way we handle addicts who request help with their addiction to opiates such as morphine, heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, as found in OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan, and hydrocodone as found in Vicodin. There are limited facilities in this area to care for these individuals, and it is very difficult to gain admission to in-patient facilities. It is recognized that there is a narrow window, generally 24-48 hours, to help a person addicted to opiates 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.

Policy:Any Grundy County resident (Morris, Minooka, Coal City, Diamond, Braceville, Gardner, South Wilmington, Mazon, Verona, and Kinsman) who enters the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department during office hours (8:00AM-4:30PM) or after hours by calling the dispatch center (ETSB) (815) 942-0336 and requests help with their addiction to opiates will be immediately screened into Safe Passage. If such a person who has requested help with their addiction is in possession of drugs or their drug equipment (needles, etc.), they will not be arrested and charged. Any Deputy having contact with anyone entering the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department or on the street and requesting help with their addiction will be professional, compassionate, and understanding at all times. The Deputy will immediately notify the Shift Supervisor that a potential Safe Passage intake is requesting help with their addiction.

Exceptions:A person seeking help with their addiction to opiates may be deemed INELIGIBLE to participate in the Safe Passage Program if:

  • The person has an outstanding arrest warrant. If the warrant is for a minor offense, failure to appear or contempt/non-payment, an exception could be made to this provision with approval from the State’s Attorney having jurisdiction over the warrant.
  • The subject is under age 18 and does not have a parent or legal guardian consent.
  • If the person presents any signs of a clear medical condition, or simply requests at the time of intake, he or she will be immediately transported to the emergency room.
Partnership Facilities: