“I thought that everyone who walked through the front door of the Nash County Police Department was going to go, ‘Take me, I’m yours, do what you want with me, for however long it takes,’” Bashore said, laughing and shaking his head.“Then I thought that everyone who walks through the door would have insurance, because, hell, I had insurance.” Instead, about 98 percent of the folks who’ve walked in have had none.
“We’ve gotta do something different and Tom took the challenge on.” Erwin said that police could think of themselves more as social service agencies than simply enforcement.
“We’re the first on the scene most time, so we’re acting as the tip of the spear for the county Department of Social Service, the county rape crisis center, for child abuse,” he said.
“I thought, ‘Well, it’s my job to throw you in jail and hopefully when you get there, someone else will take care of you.’ But that never happened.” Nashville Police Chief Tom Bashore started the HOPE Initiative in Feb. To date, his department has helped more than 275 people get into substance abuse treatment programs.
Photo credit: Rose Hoban When Bashore got the job leading the police department in Nashville, he decided to try something different after a new town manager handed him an article about a program in Gloucester, MA.
During a presentation last month at the annual recovery conference Bashore brought Ginger Harper to tears.