Magistrate Louis P. Wargo III presided over a special session of the Ottawa County Municipal Court Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 10 a.m. Wargo recognized two (2) graduates 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 graduates and their supporters, honored the program’s graduates for their successful completion of the approximately two 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. The success that this program has seen over the last five years speaks volumes 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 graduates, citing the fact that through their perseverance, hard work, and commitment, they have not only bettered themselves, but others as well. Both graduates certainly continue 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.