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Sheriff’s Update 3/1/2020

Grundy County Sheriff’s updates continued:

2019 Accomplishments

Safe Passage Program

To help reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal overdoses in Grundy County, we are changing the way we handle addicts who request help with their addiction to opiates, such as morphine, heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, as found in OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan, and hydrocodone as found in Vicodin. There are limited facilities in this area to care for these individuals and it has been difficult to gain admission to in-patient facilities. It is recognized that a narrow window, generally 24-48 hours, to help a person addicted to opiates, when they decide they want help.

In 2019, the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Family Guidance Centers implemented the “Safe Passage Program”. Deputy Vic Elias took the lead on this project and developed partnerships with the Family Guidance Centers, Rosecrance, Stepping Stones, and Linden Oaks Behavioral Health Centers. Family Guidance secured $250,000 in grant money for resources that can only be allocated for Grundy County residents.

Safe Passage is for ALL substance addictions-Alcohol, Heroin, Opioids, Marijuana, Etc.
The purpose of this program is to divert them away from the Criminal Justice System and immediately to treatment.  Any Grundy County resident who enters the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office and requests help with their addiction will be immediately screened into Safe Passage. If the individual who has requested help with their addiction is in possession of drugs or their drug equipment (needles, etc., they will not be arrested or charged.

In 2019, there were 11 overdose reversal attempts utilizing 20 doses of Naloxone (NARCAN) by Grundy County Sheriff’s Deputies. 8 of those overdoses were non-fatal and individuals were revived with the utilization of NARCAN. 2 of the overdoses were fatal, and 1 overdose is unknown as to the outcome as the patient was transferred out of county. 

There were 21 overdoses in Grundy County from the period of 12/01/2018-11/30/2019. This is significantly down from 37 overdoses in 2018 for the same time period. This is a 43% decrease in overdose deaths compared to 2018.

In 2019, 15 individuals entered into the Safe Passage Program.

Drug Take Back Containers

In cooperation with Grundy County Coroner John Callahan’s “Take Back” prescription medication program, the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office now has a medication receptacle in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office.

This will allow the citizens of Grundy County another convenient location to dispose of their unused or expired prescription medications.

Increased school patrols and presence

Over the last twelve months, Sheriff’s Deputies have increased school patrols and their presence within the schools.

Our “Ride to School” award program, where a ride to school by a Sheriff’s Deputy is very popular with the younger students.

Deputies enjoy the interaction with the students and by becoming familiar with the layouts of the schools, it allows police personnel a quicker response should an emergency every arise.
School faculty members, teachers, and parents have been very supportive of our increased presence.

Safe School Initiatives

In an effort to promote safety and readiness, seven schools in Grundy County are trained in ALICE techniques- (ALICE-Alert, Lockdown/Inform/Counter/Escape/Evade). ALICE is a proactive, options-based approach to a crisis situation. As a part of ALICE, drills are completed allowing students and staff members to react to a simulated threat. This allows participants to have a potential game plan, hopefully eliminating the freeze element of their physiological reaction to an unknown but hostile situation.

Intruder drills have been conducted in all schools and a thorough review of all crisis manuals has been completed. The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with local law enforcement and fire agencies, started a rescue task force committee to deal with critical incidents. Several Schools have been trained to “Stop the Bleed”. This training was presented by Morris Hospital and Sheriff’s Office employees.

Deputy Wojtczak and GIS Director Dave Ostrander are working on a critical incident mapping system for incident command, Grundy County Dispatch, and the EOC.