Magistrate Louis P. Wargo III presided over a special session of the Ottawa County Municipal Court Tuesday, Dec. 18. Wargo recognized one graduate of its Benchmark Alcohol/Drug and Mental Health Intervention Court Program after its regularly scheduled weekly session.
The Court session, followed by a reception for the graduate and his supporters, honored the program’s graduate for his successful completion of the two-year court program. Judge Frederick C. Hany II noted that “Since its inception in July 2008, the Benchmark Program has served the families and citizens of Ottawa County by addressing the County’s mental health and substance abuse issues.”
Magistrate Wargo, who regularly presides over the weekly court sessions, commended the graduate, stressing the fact that he has made great strides turning his life around for not only his betterment but also his family, friends and our community as well. “This particular graduate has seen that through his perseverance, hard work, and commitment, he has not only bettered himself but others as well. He has surpassed all of the Court’s previous graduates, not only in terms of his personal accomplishments but also by serving as a positive role model and mentor for those participants following him in the program, ” according to Wargo.
Since July, 2008, the Court’s Benchmark Intervention Program has been, with the assistance of the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office and other community agencies, supervising a rehabilitation program for chemically dependent individuals as well as individuals with serious mental health problems charged with misdemeanor offenses. Funding for the establishment and operation of the Intervention Court was initially being supplemented by a Department of Justice Grant, but is now fully supported by the Ottawa County Commissioners.