Magistrate Louis P. Wargo III presided over a special session of the Ottawa County Municipal Court Tuesday, June 25, at 10 a.m. Wargo recognized a graduate of its Benchmark Alcohol/Drug and Mental Health Intervention Court Program, the 22nd graduate overall, 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 approximately two (2) year court program. Judge Frederick C. Hany II, as he’s stated in the past, 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. That this is the Court’s 22nd graduate, speaks volumes, in and of itself, as to the court’s long term commitment to the families and citizens of this county.”
Magistrate Wargo, who regularly presides over the weekly court sessions, commended the graduate, citing the fact that through his diligence and hard work, he was one of the quickest to graduate through the Court’s program. Overall the Court’s graduates have seen that through perseverance, hard work, and commitment, that they have not only bettered themselves, but others as well. This graduate certainly continues the tradition of this Benchmark Program by serving as a positive role model and mentor for those participants following them in the program.”
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 since July, 2008. Funding for the establishment and operation of the Intervention Court was initially being supplemented by a Department of Justice Grant, but has, since that date, received the full support of the Ottawa County Commissioners.