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.

Congratulations Dave Miller!

New Solid Waste Team Supervisor

Dave started with Ottawa County in February of 2012 as a sanitarian. His duties were split between the solid waste team and the on-site field team. The solid waste team ensures proper disposal of household hazardous waste, which can pollute the environment and pose a threat to people’s health (www.miOttawa.org/eco). The on-site field team ensures homeowner’s wastewater dispersal and water supply systems are functioning properly to protect public health (www.miOttawa.org/landevaluation).

Shortly thereafter, Dave moved into a full-time position with the on-site team; providing primarily well and septic inspection services. In July of 2015, he took over as the non-community water supply coordinator; where he continued in that role until recently becoming the solid waste team supervisor.

Since starting with Ottawa County, Dave has been involved in the Michigan Environmental Health Association (MEHA) and National Environmental Health Association. Participating in MEHA, Dave served as the MEHA Web and Tech Committee chairperson in 2012 through 2014. At the 2014 MEHA Annual Education Conference, he was the recipient of the David H McMullen – Young Professional of the Year Award. He was also the featured presenter, providing education on breweries and environmental health.

“As the solid waste team supervisor, I look forward to building on our past success to adapt to a quickly evolving environment,” said Dave Miller.

Sexual health educator receives preceptor award

Congratulations to Heather Alberda (Certifed Sexuality Educator with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health) for receiving the GVSU Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education, and Research Center 2016 Outstanding Preceptor Award!

Heather was nominated by Lisa Wegner, GVSU Master in Public Health student. Preceptors play important roles in guiding students toward their future careers. Heather was Lisa’s preceptor during her practicum (September 2015-April 2016).

“Not only is Heather an exceptional health educator and preceptor, she is my number one mentor. I look up to her not only professionally but as a person. She gave me real life experience, while also equipping me with the knowledge and confidence I needed to become my own personal best in the public health field. Having an exceptional preceptor can really make or break a student and their readiness to enter the real world,” said Lisa.

Lisa was able to do health education with a variety of populations from high school students to adults, plan and implement her own health education event and do a health program evaluation. In addition to her practicum, Heather supported Lisa through her master’s research project. Today, Lisa is working at the Greater Ottawa County United Way. For more information about sexual health education, visit http://www.miOttawa.org/SexEd.

Customer Service | Advice & Action

Living the Golden Rule; what is the true meaning of excellent customer service?

A word of advice from some of Ottawa County’s Customer Service Award nominees:

“Be there .. really listen to the person you are helping, empathize with them.”

“As you take a call for service, act like your the one calling and provide the service that you would expect.”

“Most people aren’t aware of the inner workings of County government (with which we are very familiar). Remember this, and help them navigate a system/process/service that to them may be very puzzling or frustrating.”

“Make eye contact with the customer.”

Outstanding Customer Service in Action:

Each quarter the Customer Service Team receives numerous nominations for the Customer Service Award. The stories are redacted and submitted to each team member to read. The Customer Service Team members then vote on the ones they found most inspiring. This is an extremely challenging task because the stories are heartfelt, inspiring and depict the true spirit of the Ottawa Way. These stories are too good to not share…

David Cook

“Dave has assisted and supported Juvenile Services on a number of projects crucial to our department being effective and efficient. Dave’s help comes with no conditions, a great attitude, and creative resolution. Dave does not have “no” or “problem” in his vocabulary. Dave is friendly, approachable, and good spirited. He provides great customer care and concern!”

Becky Ashcroft

“Becky went way out of her way to help me obtain a copy of a police report. I had thought that if I came in I could obtain a copy then and there. I had submitted a request on line so I did not fill out the paper copy on Thursday when I was there. The police officer had not provided me with any contact information and Becky looked it up for me. She watched for my online request and when she didn’t receive it on Friday, she had to go back to the officer to get my contact info and she called me to let me know she did not receive it so that I could come in again and do the paperwork. I really appreciate all she did. To some it may not seem like a big deal, but to me, it was. I needed a copy of that report ASAP. Thanks you so much Becky!”

Are you in the loop?

If you are not in the loop, you should consider joining it: GovLoop. GovLoop’s mission is simple: connect government to improve government. They provide articles, resources and training for public sector employees, plus forums for connecting and collaborating with colleagues across the nation. It is also worth mentioning that they recently published this article about Ottawa County’s customer service initiative. Check it out!

Outstanding Customer Service Award

Join us in congratulating Shane Ryke from the Sheriff’s Office, who has been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipient for the third quarter of 2016. The individuals who nominated Shane wrote:

Yesterday was my daughter’s 4th birthday we went to Catch Air to celebrate. On the way home to Muskegon, we had a tire blowout. We were on the side of the highway for about two hours while my dad came to help and go get a new tire for us. While we were waiting, Deputy Shane Ryke stopped to help and stayed to make sure we were safe because it was the driver side tire. While talking he learned it was my daughter’s birthday he had a stuffed animal in his cruiser and gave it to her. I just wanted to share because it helped turn a bad situation into a pleasant one. Thank you, Deputy Ryke!

After learning my son was the boy who waves to him from across the street at home, and that he wants to become an officer someday, Shane took the time to find junior deputy badges and brought them over to my son all on his own time. To my 5-year-old, this was huge. With a lot of negative things in the world, this is reassuring to my son that cops are not bad people. He’s still set on becoming an officer someday “just like the one across the road.”

 

Read more about Shane at miOttawa.org

Friend of the Court Awarded by State

At the Michigan Family Support Conference last week, Ottawa County Friend of the Court received the award for top performance of a large county in four federal performance measure areas. Congratulations to Jennell Challa, to Friend of the Court staff, to the judges, to the referees and to everyone who plays a part in the child support enforcement program in Ottawa County.

Assisting terminally ill people with caring for and finding new families for their pets

Jill Bannink-Albrecht, environmental health clerk with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, works nights and weekends to serve her community by assisting terminally ill people with caring for and finding new families for their pets. Jill was interviewed by TODAY for an article about her non-profit organization – Tyson’s Place Animal Rescue. She operates without a facility but with a small network of foster homes that welcomes animals when their human owners become too sick to care for them.

Jill said she felt motivated to start Tyson’s Place after years of working at an animal shelter with a high euthanasia rate. “Older animals just didn’t have a chance there, and it was so sad when we’d get in older animals where the owner had passed away,” she recalled. “They’d often be traumatized and they wouldn’t show very well or seem adoptable. They were often the first to be put to sleep.”

News of the group’s existence spread quickly among hospice workers, who have its founder, Jill Bannink-Albrecht, on speed dial. To date, Tyson’s Place has helped 22 dogs, 15 cats and a 17-year-old cockatiel named Bubba. “I feel it’s really important to provide peace of mind to people who love their animals so much and are already dealing with something so stressful,” said Jill. “And it’s great to provide a second chance for the pets who might not have gotten it.”

Many of the animals who need to find new homes are older — often over the age of 10 — and Jill said that can be “a hard sell” even though the lifelong pets are well-adjusted and well-trained. To increase their chances of getting adopted, she arranges to have all their veterinary and grooming needs met — including anything that might have slipped while a family’s attention has been laser-focused on caring for a sick person.

Mission: Tyson’s Place Animal Rescue is dedicated to assisting terminally ill people with caring for and finding new families for their pets. www.tysonsplacerescue.org, www.facebook.com/TysonsPlaceRescue

Pictured: Jill Bannink-Albrecht, founder of Tyson’s Place Animal Rescue, with two senior black labs named Spike and Stella. Tyson’s Place helped the dogs after the man who owned them died of cancer at age 44.

Article content gathered from TODAY Pets & Animals
‘A sense of peace’: Terminally ill woman finds help for pets in her final days
http://www.today.com/pets/sense-peace-terminally-ill-woman-finds-help-pets-her-final-t103438

Outstanding Customer Service Award

Ottawa County is delighted to announce its eleventh recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award.

Congratulations to Deputy Shane Ryke from the Sheriff’s Office!

For the 3rd Quarter of 2016, 20 employees were nominated for an Outstanding Customer Service Award. Some were nominated multiple times. Nominees for the Outstanding Customer Service Award were:

  • Jill Bannink, Department of Public Health
  • Connie Barker, County Clerk/Register of Deeds
  • Chris Bartaway, Innovation and Technology
  • Karen Billings, Department of Public Health
  • Kristin Conrad, Department of Public Health
  • Dave Cook, Innovation and Technology
  • Kimberly Wolters, Department of Public Health
  • Hannah Hoeksema, Department of Public Health
  • Kevin Hoxsey, Department of Public Health
  • Scott Ippel, Sheriff’s Office
  • Carla Lieffers, County Clerk/Register of Deeds
  • Robb MacGregor, Department of Public Health
  • Melanie Manion, Parks and Recreation
  • Jonathan Marin, Treasurer’s Office
  • Jennifer Myers, Community Mental Health
  • Steve Namenye, Innovation and Technology
  • Andrea Olson, Friend of the Court
  • Mary Beth, Rokisky, County Clerk/Register of Deeds
  • Terry Sands, County Clerk/Register of Deeds
  • Drew Shaw, Department of Public Health

Congratulations to all of the nominees and keep-up the spectacular service! If you wish to nominate a co-worker or promote the program to residents, details are available at miOttawa.org. Nominations can come from both inside and outside the organization. Each quarter, the Customer Service Team will review all of the nominations and select the recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award.

More information about Shane Ryke will be posted in a future article.

Congratulations again, Shane!

Upcoming Event: Ottawa Connect

newsletter
Ottawa Connect has four objectives:

  • To advocate and make it known that each member of the community deserves assistance in times of need.
  • To increase outreach by making our event welcoming, community-oriented, and non-threatening.
  • To raise awareness by engaging many different types of people, informing them of the needs in our community, and linking them to opportunities to address them.
  • To strengthen the local Continuum of Care through collaboration and networking, Continuum of Care member recruitment, and increasing cross-provider referrals.

Contact: Amanda Telgenhof (616) 396-7811 x212, atelgenhof@ottawaunitedway.org