Magistrate Louis P. Wargo III recently presided over a special session of the Ottawa County Municipal Court to recognize three graduates of its Benchmark Alcohol/Drug and Mental Health Intervention Court Program. The Court session, followed by a reception for the graduates and their supporters, honored the program’s graduates for their successful completion of the two-year court program.
“Since its inception nearly four years ago, the Benchmark Program has served the families and citizens of Ottawa County by addressing the County’s mental health and substance abuse issues,” said Judge Frederick C. Hany II.
Wargo, who regularly presides over the weekly court sessions, commended the graduates, stressing the fact that each of them has made great strides turning their lives around for not only their betterment but also their families, friends and our community as well.
“We’ve never seen the energy and excitement before that we’ve seen with these three graduates,” he said “These particular graduates, have seen that through their perseverance, hard work and commitment, that they have not only bettered themselves, but others as well. All three graduates have served 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.