Getting to Know the Prosecutor’s Office

What is the role of the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office? As the elected Prosecutor, Ronald Frantz serves as the chief administrator of criminal justice for Ottawa County. More specifically, his office makes criminal charging decisions based on investigative reports provided by law enforcement agencies. In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office assists with investigations by providing legal advice to law enforcement agencies and aids with the drafting and review of search warrants. The Office also handles court proceedings in Adult, Juvenile, and Abuse/Neglect Courts and is assigned to handle Mental Commitment Proceedings in Probate Court as well. Appeals are researched and argued by the attorney staff members of the Prosecutor’s Office before the State and Federal Appellate Courts. In addition to these key responsibilities, the Prosecutor’s Office team also facilitates training for law enforcement and the community and serves on various committees such as West Michigan Enforcement Team, Lakeshore Alliance Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and the Child Death Review Team. Some of the attorneys on staff are also assigned to the Mental Health and Sobriety Courts.

The Prosecutor’s Office additionally provides victim advocacy and domestic assault intervention through a team of three Victim Advocates and one Violence Intervention Officer (VIO). In addition to the Victim Advocates and VIO, the thirteen attorneys of the office (including the Prosecutor) are supported by one Legal Clerk, eight Legal Assistants, and an Office Administrator. There are two offices for the Prosecutor:  one in the Grand Haven Courthouse and the other in the Holland Courthouse. A satellite office for the Abuse/Neglect Prosecutor is located at the Fillmore Complex.

Katty Shack Registration Event Offers Prizes & Discounts

Register for this spring’s Katty Shack 5K on Thursday, February 26th at Jumpin’ Java Coffee Shop and you’ll be in the running for great prizes regardless of your pace! Race representatives will be at Jumpin’ Java located at 215 Washington Avenue in Grand Haven from 11am and 6pm. Sign-up at a reduced fee of $20 plus be put in a drawing for $50 in movie coupons to the Grand Haven 9, a $50 Wesco gas card and a $100 gift card to Two Tonys Taverna Grille.  Also available is an even further reduced price of $18 per person for families or businesses consisting of three or more individuals.

As part of “Celebrate Law Day 2015” the courts in Ottawa County are supporting the 2015 Katty Shack 5K Memorial Run/Walk scheduled for April 25 at 9am. The Katty Shack 5K honors those affected by violent crime and raises funds for the Crime Victim Foundation of Michigan. The run was created in memory of four lives tragically taken in September of 2008 in Wright Township: Katherine Brown (nick-named “Katty Shack”); and Jeremy, Tyler and Sharmaine Zimmer. To date, the event has raised over $50,000 for the foundation. Details about the race plus online registration can be found at www.kattyshackrace.com.

Law Day is observed nationally on May 1 each year to celebrate the rule of law. The 20th Circuit Court, Ottawa County Probate Court and 58th District Court participate locally to underscore how the law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all citizens share. The 20th Circuit Court, Ottawa County Probate Court and 58th District Court will be announcing several other local events to celebrate Law Day 2015. The date has been set for the sixth annual Katty Shack 5K: April 25, 2015.

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Co-race Directors, Natalie Kik-Brown and Joan Grillo. Natalie is the mother of Kathrine Brown and Joan is the Victim’s Rights Coordniator for the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office. Photo Credit: Grand Haven Tribune.

 

 

County Kudos!

Congrats to the Ottawa County Victim Assistance Team! The team has achieved National Advocate Credentialing certifications from combined years of service, training and education. That team includes: Joan Grillo, (Victim’s Rights Coordinator, 16 years with Ottawa County), Lesley Morano (Victim Advocate, 12 years) and Stephanie Stoddard (Victim Advocate, 7 years). Both Lesley and Joan had prior experience in Victim’s Rights in Muskegon County. Be sure to congratulate the members of the team next time you encounter them.

Going the Extra Mile for The Crime Victim Foundation of Michigan

This year, Joan Grillo and Natalie Kik-Brown presented “Five Years, $50,000 & Still Running: Going the Extra Mile for The Crime Victim Foundation of Michigan” as a training breakout session at the 40th Annual National Organization for Victim Assistance conference in Chicago, Illinois. Their presentation covered the history of their unique relationship that set in motion the passion to make something good from something so horrible: The Katty Shack 5K . They included a wonderful Prezi Pro presentation, with the help of Justin Munsters, from our IT Department. The room included many of the features found at an actual race, from the Start and Finish banners, yard signs, and timing clock to a Jazzercise warm-up team. Participants learned the steps involved in putting together a community race, but more importantly, that with passion and determination, what seems like the impossible can become possible. Below are a few photos taken during the presentation in Chicago:

Learn more about the Katty Shack 5K online, and keep in touch on Facebook or Twitter!

Welcome, Sydney!

The Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office welcomed a special, new team member this summer. Sydney joined the office as a Canine Advocate! She will support child victims during forensic interviews, court preparation and while testifying in court. Sydney is a graduate from the Leader Dog’s for the Blind Program in Rochester Hills, MI and was trained to work with young victims in high stress situations. When Sydney becomes comfortable in her new role in Ottawa County, a more detailed article will be published. Since Sydney is “man’s best friend,” you can become her friend her on Facebook.  (“Sydney Canine”)

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Submitted by Deanna Sears, Office Administrator, Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office

Joan Grillo Earns Lifetime Achievement Award

At the Fifth Annual “Fuel Up for Katty Shack” pre-race dinner, Joan Grillo of the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Service to Victims of Crime from the Crime Victim Foundation of Michigan.

Over the past five years, Joan has worked tirelessly to co-coordinate the Katty Shack Race. The 5K and one mile run/walk was created to honor four lives tragically taken in September of 2008 in Wright Township: Katherine Brown (nicknamed “Katty Shack”); and Jeremy, Tyler and Sharmaine Zimmer.  Alongside Joan in this endeavor is Natalie Kik-Brown, the mother of Katherine Brown. This year marked the fifth and largest Katty Shack Race to date. The event had close to 500 participants and earned $14,000 for the Crime Victim Foundation of Michigan. Over the past five years, the Katty Shack Race has been able to support the foundation with a total contribution of $51,500. The Crime Victim Foundation of Michigan was established 1992, by the late Senator William VanRegenmorter as a safety net for victims of crime who have no other means of assistance.

Joan has been with Ottawa County for 16 years as the Victim’s Rights Coordinator in the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Prior to coming to Ottawa County, Joan was the Victim’s Rights Coordinator in the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office. She has also acted as a volunteer for many years on the Sheriff’s Office’s Crisis Response Team. Joan has donated her time and talents to many other organizations assisting victims throughout her career both in Ottawa and Muskegon Counties. From the grass roots beginnings of crime victim’s rights in the early 1980’s, she has dedicated her career to assisting victims of crime and continues to promote awareness and raise funds for this cause.

Submitted by Deanna Sears, Office Administrator, Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office