BAY MILLS INDIAN COMMUNITY, Mich. (WJMN) – The Bay Mills Police Department wants people to know they would rather help people escape their addiction than lock them up. Bay Mills Police Department Chief Ron Carrick said while there are problems with prescription drugs, they are seeing mostly methamphetamine and cocaine.

Chief Carrick spoke with us about a program the department is involvedwith called, ‘Hope Not Handcuffs.’

“What the program is, if you are suffering from addiction, you can come to the Bay Mills Police Department and ask for help. Then we will make sure you get the help you need for treatment. There are a little bit of stipulations. You can’t currently have an active drug case against you where you’re going to court. For the most part, if you show up at Bay Mills Police Department asking for help with your addiction, we will start the process right here at Bay Mills P.D. We will provide you some comfort stuff like food or snacks. Then we call in Angels. They are the ones who are going to help get people into treatment, the travel, and how to pay for the treatment costs and everything else. That’s one of our biggest programs,” said Chief Carrick.

They are also active participants in their Healing to Wellness Court. Carrick is on the board for that program.

“The clients that come in suffer from addiction. They’ve been in trouble with the law for whatever reason. The program is a minimum of a year long. You can’t just send someone to a treatment center for 28 days which is common and expect someone to be healed. It’s a long process to fully recover from addiction. So the Healing to Wellness Court, we take into account that we’re trying to change your lifestyle to a more healthy lifestyle. It’s a very difficult program but we have seen quite a bit of success with our clients,” said Carrick.

Chief Carrick spoke with us about the law enforcement support his department has to combat drug traffic in the area.

“We have two local undercover teams that cover Bay Mills Reservation. Our local team called Trident. They cover Chippewa, Mackinac, and Luce Counties. We have agreements with them that they can work reservations on Bay Mills Reservation. As well as UPSET. They are the undercover team through the Michigan State Police. They also cover Bay Mills. They target the people that are selling the drugs and stuff like that. We are pretty fortunate to have two teams covering our reservation,” said Chief Carrick.

Chief Carrick hopes one of the best tools to ending drug traffic is to stop addiction before it starts.

“A lot of people don’t know unless you’re from the area, the seriousness of addiction in our community. It’s long withstanding, going back generations and generations. I just hope we can start with our young kids to have them not start doing the drugs and alcohol at such an early age. We have other programs we’re working on for the kids so hopefully they don’t want to start using at such an early age,” said Chief Carrick.