Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon Highlights Hope One, Opioid Recovery Programs To EMT Class At Morristown Medical Center

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon highlighted programs started by his office to combat the opioid pandemic as guest speaker at a Narcan training class for EMTs at Morristown Medical Center.

The Hope One mobile substance abuse recovery vehicle – retrofitted from a defunct SWAT truck into a white and purple resource center – is Sheriff Gannon’s signature program and approaching its second anniversary on April 3.

A key component of Hope One is the free Narcan training offered by its staff, who have confirmed at least 31 lives were saved by people they trained, who in turn administered life-saving doses of the opioid-blocking nasal spray to loved ones in the throes of overdoses.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon at Morristown Medical Center
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, R, with John DaSilva, Morristown Medical Center Coordinator, Emergency Department, and Carol Jones, chief nursing officer for Morristown Medical Center at an EMT training class on Feb. 25, 2019.

A crowd of EMTs gathered in an amphitheater of the hospital as part of a continuing education process through the Atlantic Training Center that Monday, Feb. 25, focused on Narcan administration and the role of EMTs in responding to opiate overdoses. Sharing his philosophy that law enforcement also has a duty to act as guardians, Sheriff Gannon said Hope One’s goals of saving the lives of addicts should translate into an end or reduction in crimes users commit in desperate quests for cash to support drug habits.

“After they’ve run out of money and melted Mommy’s silver set and stolen Daddy’s gun collection, they start pulling on handles of people’s cars parked on the street, looking for the Apple iPhones, the watches, looking for cash, looking for cars. They then start doing the retail thefts so they can convert it to money, 10 percent on the dollar, 10 cents on the dollar, 20 cents on the dollar, whatever they get.”

Gannon said: “We need on the guardian side to stay with helping people. We know we’re not arresting our way out of this problem. We need to do something different.”

Gannon’s innovative approach with Hope One – bringing critical recovery services and resources to the people – was replicated in December in Newark, and in the past year by the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Monmouth and Atlantic County Sheriff’s Offices. Burlington County has expressed interest in starting a Hope One program, as Passaic and Bergen counties recently have.

Sheriff James M. Gannon speaks to EMTs at a training class
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon speaks about the opioid overdose crisis to an EMT training class at Morristown Medical Center on Feb. 25, 2019.

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office Hope One program has made more than 240 stops in Morris County towns in the past 22 months and logged more than 6,200 contacts with individuals. At least 1,600 people have been trained in the use of Narcan by Hope One staff that includes a Sheriff’s Officer, a mental health worker from the Essex and Morris County Mental Health Association, and a certified peer recovery specialist – someone who has experienced addiction and now is uniquely qualified and trained to help others with the battle.

The success of Hope One led to the creation in 2017 of the Hope Wing at the Morris County Correctional Facility. There, inmates committed to overcoming alcohol or drug addiction confront their struggle through daily programs like relapse prevention, anger management counseling, education, spirituality, family and relationship connections and peer-to-peer counseling.



Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon honors retiring Monsignor John J. Carroll

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon joined the Morris County Board of Freeholders in honoring retiring Msgr. John J. Carroll, a valued clergyman for 52 years who served his final mass on Sunday at Our Lady of Magnificat Church in Kinnelon.

Monsignor John J. Carroll
Rev. Monsignor John J. Carroll

Sheriff Gannon presented Msgr. Carroll with a plaque that declared him an honorary Morris County sheriff while Freeholder Director Doug Cabana presented Msgr. Carroll with a special county resolution that cited his 52 years of active service in the priesthood.

Kinnelon Mayor James Freda also presented Msgr. Carroll with a key to the borough.

“Msgr. Carroll’s final mass on Sunday truly was one of the warmest, most moving events I have ever attended,’’ said Freeholder Cabana. “The monsignor certainly is loved by the members of his parish in Kinnelon and by the thousands of people touched by his ministry over the years.”

Born in Paterson in 1940, Msgr. Carroll was ordained as a Catholic priest at St. John’s Cathedral in his hometown in 1966 and served that church as assistant pastor. His career included stops at Our Lady of Pompeii in Paterson, superintendent of schools for the Paterson Catholic Diocese, pastor at St. Patrick’s Church in Chatham, and pastor at Our Lady of Magnificat in Kinnelon.
He earned his Doctor in Divinity degree from Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University, where he earlier completed his priestly training, and also earned Masters and Doctoral degrees in Education from Fordham University.

Take a look at photos of Sunday’s event (photo credits: Frank Altieri)


Morris County Sheriff’s Office’s Hope One Vehicle Travels To Wayne To Support ‘The Brian Project’

Aware that drug addiction has no borders, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office’s Hope One vehicle traveled to Wayne Friday, February 22, in support of a fundraiser for The Brian Project, a non-profit created in memory of a Lake Hiawatha man who died in 2018 of a heroin overdose.

Attendees at The Brian Project in Wayne
Morris County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Erica Valvano, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Stephanie Intrabartolo, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Alton Robinson at The Brian Project fundraiser on Feb. 22, 2019.

Stephanie Intrabartolo founded The Brian Project – an acronym for Believe Recovery Is A Necessity – in honor of her son, Brian Richard Diaz, who struggled to overcome heroin addiction but tragically died of an overdose at the age of 27 on May 23, 2018, after eight months of sobriety.

The Brian Project held its first fundraiser, a beefsteak dinner, on Feb. 22, at the Wayne PAL building. The project’s goals are to fund scholarships for people coping with addiction and provide resources and education about substance abuse. Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Sheriff’s Office Corporal Erica Valvano, the coordinator of Hope One, and Alton Robinson, a certified peer recovery specialist, attended the fundraiser.

“I was honored, as was the Hope One staff, to be part of The Brian Project fundraiser held in recognition of a vibrant young life lost to drug addiction. Just as Hope One is, The Brian Project is committed to helping others recover from and avoid addiction,” Sheriff Gannon said.

Sheriff Gannon at The Brian Project beefsteak dinner fundraiser
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon speaks at The Brian Project fundraiser in Wayne on Feb. 22, 2019.


Sheriff Gannon launched the Hope One mobile substance abuse resource and recovery program on April 3, 2017, as a way of bringing critical recovery services to communities. Hope One, which was replicated in Newark in December, parks twice a week at Morris County locations to offer Narcan training, mental health and addiction resources, and access to detox and substance abuse treatment.

Hope One has had more than 6,000 contacts with individuals since it launched, and has documented at least 31 lives saved through its onboard Narcan training.

Hope One vehicle in Wayne
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office’s Hope One mobile substance abuse recovery and resource vehicle at The Brian Project fundraiser on Feb. 22, 2019, in Wayne, NJ.