President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union Address will be analyzed, dissected and reassembled by pundits on the left and the right, by Democrats and Republicans and by the press.

We know this, but the greatest aspect of the address, and its most refreshing, is that it’s being refracted through the prism of one local man who is active in one of the issues faced by the entire nation.

Chatham Village Police Chief and Hudson Police Commissioner Peter Volkmann joined U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, on Capitol Hill for the State of the Union Address on Tuesday.

“It’s just an honor to be there and for him to see the opioid crisis as something to continue that community conversation,” Volkmann said Wednesday. “By asking me as a representative for that conversation is just absolutely important to me and I’m so glad to represent recovery and the hope of recovery.”

Volkmann is more than a representative. He was included in Delgado’s panel discussion with medical professionals, non-profit organizations, law enforcement and recovering addicts last fall in Glasco, and has since been working behind the scenes with Delgado to make progress against the opioid crisis in New York.

Volkmann is the founder of Chatham Cares 4 U. Delgado wants to see programs like Chatham Cares 4 U throughout the nation. It’s already on the way. Many police agencies are following the Chatham Cares 4 U model. Chatham Cares 4 U provides addicts seeking help with substance abuse with an alternative to incarceration. For his work, Volkmann received the 2018 Police Assisted and Recovery Initiative Leadership Award for his development of Chatham Cares 4 U through the Chatham Police Department.

The initiative, coupled with opening the eyes of Congress, and maybe even the White House to the threat posed by the opioid crisis could be a way to build on the successes Chatham Cares 4 U experienced in our area.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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