|Pictured from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office are: Agent Michael Colwell, Sgt. Rene Nauyoks and Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer is proud to announce the creation of the Michael Camillus Project. The Project, named for St. Michael, the patron saint of police and St. Camillus, patron saint of the sick, aims to teach members of the law enforcement community about substance abuse disorder. Through the Project, student/officers obtain a certificate of completion in addiction studies from Ocean County College. The eighteen-credit certificate of completion allows the student/officers to sit for a state board exam and perform clinical hours in order to obtain their Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) designation. The Michael Camillus Project has been made possible through a partnership with Ocean County College via grant funding through the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General’s Operation Helping Hand.
“The goal of the Michael Camillus Project is to instill law enforcement officers with a high level knowledge regarding addiction so they can bring this information back to their departments and to use it constructively when encountering individuals with substance abuse disorders in their communities. We have been working closely with Ocean County College to prepare this initial group of students/officers for an innovative educational experience that is the first of its kind for law enforcement in New Jersey,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.
“The Michael Camillus Project inaugural class is comprised of fourteen student/officers representing five different law enforcement agencies in Ocean County. The Project includes student/officers towards the beginning, middle and ends of their careers. This Project will enable these student/officers to start effectively battling addiction related stigma within their own agencies and drive home the importance of early intervention with regard to substance use disorder,” Billhimer stated.
Dr. Roseann Bar, Dean, School of Business and Social Sciences at Ocean County College remarked, “I’ve been excited about this partnership with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office from day one. These individuals have an excellent skillset and now we have the ability to enhance law enforcement training so they can do even more to serve their community.”
“I’m proud of this group. The motivation to engage in an area that is out of your comfort zone just speaks to the quality and caliber of officers we have in Ocean County. They could sit on the sidelines and watch but they’ve decided to take this journey, to work incredibly hard over the next few years to help others,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
Prosecutor Billhimer commends Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Renee White, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Offenders Unit, Ocean County College and Ocean Mental Health Services for their collaborative efforts relative to Michael Camillus’s success and for working tirelessly to ensure that members of law enforcement have addiction specific training and education to continue the fight against stigma with regard to substance use disorder.