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Map of Franklin County Sheriff's Department service area

Franklin County
Sheriff's Department

Population: 87,130

Service Area: Franklin and Worcester Counties

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) RROE project was based in Franklin and Worcester Counties, which span nearly 1,000 square miles in the northwestern part of Massachusetts and are home to approximately 87,000 residents. The FCSO, in collaboration with the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region, focused on four activities to help address the impact of opioid misuse in the community. First, it created a critical incident management system to track fatal and nonfatal overdoses in real time and trained “data designees” in 17 local police departments. Second, the FCSO implemented an evidence-based program for atrisk youth aged 12 to 17 in rural school districts, with 140 students participating in the workshop, and expanded a program empowering parents with lived experience to support prevention efforts in the community. These “PEER Ambassadors” have spent 2,189 hours connecting 1,552 parents with community resources and programming in the 3 years the program has been in place. Third, the FCSO launched CONNECT, the area’s first postoverdose follow-up and outreach program, designed to provide services within 72 hours to those with a reported overdose through the 9-1-1 system and to support the Mobile Outreach Program for Unhoused Individuals. Since its July 2021 launch, CONNECT has responded to 144 nonfatal overdoses and atrisk referrals, successfully contacted 73 individuals who had overdosed about treatment and recovery services, and distributed more than 1,500 naloxone kits to law enforcement officers and other first responders. Fourth, RROE partners created a peer grief and loss facilitation curriculum to address the gap in the community of supporting those with grief related to substance use and overdose and have trained eight individuals to lead “loss circles,” which will reach an estimated 100 people across Franklin County.