The Supreme Court of Ohio and Governor Kasich have requested Ottawa County Common Pleas Judge Bruce Winters assemble a team of community leaders to attend the Judicial Symposium on Opiates in Columbus. This Symposium aims to develop new opiate prevention strategies, increase public awareness, develop new addiction prevention approaches, and share insight on available treatment options. Most importantly, the Symposium hopes to create an exchange of ideas on judicial strategies that are making a difference in the midst of the current addiction epidemic.
Here in Ottawa County, Judge Winters has continuously worked to identify and implement these types of judicial strategies, including the DATA Program (Drug Court), increasing drug testing and intensive probation, developing sober living environment options in the county, and planning the implementation of the promising non-narcotic medication Vivitrol into the county jails. Bringing Ottawa County leaders together to attend the Symposium in order to access crucial addiction information and to participate in the innovative workshop environment is yet another important step that Judge Winters is taking for the Common Pleas Court and for this community.
The team representing Ottawa County includes key members of the community who are instrumental in the success of Judge Winters’ endeavors to fight addiction. The team includes Sheriff Steven Levorchick, Drug Task Force Deputy Joel Barton, County Commissioner James Sass, Assistant Prosecutor Joe Gerber, Chief Probation Officer Judy Flood, Director of Planning and Policy for the Mental Health and Recovery Board Debbie Kelley, Defense Attorney Terry Dunn, Chemical Dependency Counselor from Advanced Coping and Wellness Angela Plant, and DATA Program Coordinator Katelyn Embry. The team is eager to hear from other Ohio leaders about effective programs they have in place in their counties, learn new insights and information on addiction from Symposium presenters, and share the steps that Ottawa County has already taken that are making a difference.