NewsRegion S Palm Beach CountyDelray Beach

Actions

Delray Beach police introduces new 'Service Population Advocate' to combat overdoses, homelessness

Posted at 11:05 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 05:00:15-04

It's become the new normal, a drug epidemic taking a toll on both our community and those tasked with saving them.
 
“How many times can our officers watch the same individual overdose,” says Delray Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Goldman. “How many times can they watch someone die?”
 
Chief Goldman is hoping his department has found one answer that will help turn the tide.
 
Meet Ariana Ciancio,  the woman who police hope will fill the gap between enforcement and treatment.
 
“I try to plant the seed,” Ciancio said. “So at least they know  we are here, so if they don't buy into it today, they can come back another day.”
 
With two decades of experience in mental health and addiction counseling, Ciancio will provide that so called next step for police.
 
“Now we're able to say 'here, we hand off the ball’, and say ‘listen, can you help us,’” Goldman said.

She will play a crucial role after the Narcan is administered, the call is done and before the addict ends up back on the street.
 
“I will directly try to help them link to seek resources in the county,” Cianco said.
 
Ciancio will provide an approach that is more personalized than the one law enforcement can provide.
 
“Every individual is going to be different and they're going to have a different story. No two are going to be the same. One person I'll have to spend 2 hours with, one person may have to be 4 hours.” 
 
Ciancio’s position is the first of her kind for any police department in Palm Beach County. 

She will also be a liaison for the homeless and mental health communities in Delray.

To contact Ciancio, call 561-243-7888 ext. 2967.