Shelby County announces Compact 2020 initiative

by 

280Living.com

May 9, 2016

 

Shelby County is taking another step toward combating drug abuse. The new initiative, COMPACT 2020, will launch in July of this year, County Manager Alex Dudchock announced at the May 9 Shelby County Commission meeting.

COMPACT 2020 will be made up of three operating divisions — administration, education and communications; a tactical unit; and a compliance unit — that will collaborate on the initiative.

“We’ve always worked together, but now we’re really working together,” said District Attorney Jill Lee. “It’s one mission, one plan to try to stamp out drug use in this county. And when I say that, I mean that. If you’re going to dream, dream big, and that’s my dream.”

The tactical unit, headed up by Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Clay Hammac, will work to develop intelligence and build criminal cases against individuals involved in the sale of drugs. The compliance unit, headed by Hoover Police Department Lt. Scott McDonald, will make sure individuals in the justice system are in compliance with court orders. The education and prevention division will work to bring information to teachers, parents, leaders and other community members.

The three divisions stem from existing bodies in the county, said COMPACT director Alan Miller, and the initiative is working toward breaking down any former walls of communication between those divisions. That means sharing information between school resource officers in different schools, opening discussions between municipalities and bringing more information to residents.

“Years and years of experience tells us that drugs and drug dealers don’t recognize city limits, they don’t recognize county lines, and they don’t recognize state lines,” Lee said. “My office, law enforcement and all these agencies sitting in this room today have worked diligently and aggressively for years to trying to stop drugs from entering our cities and our counties.”

Pooling together individuals from different walks of life and different areas of the community will help strengthen the initiative, Lee said. Dudchock recognized the county leaders who are supporting and participating in the initiative, including individuals from Shelby County Schools; Hoover, Pelham and Alabaster city schools; Briarwood and Kingwood Christian schools; Sheriff John Samaniego; and municipal leaders from Alabaster, Calera, Chelsea, Helena, Hoover, Montevallo and Pelham.

“I truly appreciate the leadership these individuals perform in our county because what we’re about to start as far as a true collaborative, comprehensive effort will only be possible because leaders like them care,” Dudchock said. “They understand we have an epidemic.”

In 2010, Shelby County had 35 deaths due to drug overdoses. In 2014 and 2015, that number was more than 50, Dudchock said. Of the county’s 206,000 population, Dudchock also shared the number of individuals in the county jail and juvenile detention center as well as the community corrections and juvenile court system.

“That gives you an idea, some of you would say, of an at risk population. But I tell you, that’s not necessarily the at risk population,” Dudchock said. “The at risk population is everybody in this room that has a reason to leave their house to worship, go shop, go to the park.”

Drug use has permeated many areas of Shelby County and is not limited to one demographic, Dudchock said, and that is a reason why COMPACT 2020 aims to bring together several segments of county leadership. The initiative will work to help those who are "justice-involved," meaning they are already in the justice system, and those who are non-justice involved.

“We want people to get help before becoming justice-involved,” Dudchock said. “This is not about the hammer.”

The initial project period of COMPACT 2020 is four years. At the end of those four years, the initiative will be evaluated, and there will be an analysis of what additional resources or redirection of resources is necessary, Dudchock said.

“I think everyone involved and everyone that we’ve talked to and all these folks in this room have come to one conclusion, and that is this: Nobody expects this mission to be easy because it is different,” Lee said. “But the potential for the end result is so worthwhile that not one of us is willing to pass this opportunity, and we hope that as time progresses, others will join us on our mission.”

 

Also at the May 9 meeting, the commission:

  • Approved a resolution regarding an unsafe structure/ public nuisance located on Colonial Park Road. The resolution stated that notice was given regarding the property, nothing had been done to remedy the issues laid out in that notice and that the commission is authorized to demolish or move the structure.
  • Approved a resolution for an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) Recreational Trails Grant Program for Oak Mountain State Park. The grant program will fund 80 percent of the proposed project cost of $75,000, and the county will meet a 20 percent match.
  • Approved a resolution to apply for a federal grant for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program, an "interagency effort across multiple federal agencies to assist distressed communities to both build capacity and revitalize neighborhoods," according to commission documents.

To see the article as it was orginally published on 280 Living, click the link below:

http://280living.com/news/shelby-county-announces-compact-2020-initiative509/

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Director's Update

Fall 2017- In the District

By Mimi Penhale, Legislative Director

Since the 2017 Legislative Session ended back in May, our Delegation has been out and about supporting community events and schools. Shelby County cities and organizations have been busy over the past few months with farmers markets, festivals, and events to raise money for Shelby county groups. Some of the events that our Delegation members have attended and are planning to attend include: the annual CASA Roast, tours of local farms with Alabama’s Farmers’ Federation, visiting the Alabama Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park, Montevallo’s Bicentennial Celebration, and the Ground Breaking of the Helena Earth Kind Rose Trials. The Delegation members are also participating in many events around the county on their own, so keep an eye out for them in your area or at your local schools.  

The fall is always a great time for the Legislators to visit schools in their district. Legislators in Alabama are given access to grant money to provide community service projects in their districts. Grants are requested by local schools, libraries, and organizations that work with our public schools. The amount of money that Legislators can access each year is limited and varies depending on revenue brought in by the state.

The grants given by our Delegation members this fall have covered a variety of needs. Some of the grants impacted students and teachers in the classroom, like technology updates and funding for educational programming. Grants outside the classroom will help cover structural updates for school facilities. Some of the organizations awarded grant money for this fall provided students access to programs and community service opportunities that they might not otherwise be able to participate in. The final grants awarded each year are a joint contribution from the Delegation to the overall winners of the Shelby County Schools’ Teacher of the Year recipients. Three teachers, who are named the overall age group winners by the Shelby County Education Foundation, are awarded grant money that can be used by the winners for classroom supplies, technology, or programs.

Providing grants for projects like these and supporting events in the district is a highlight for our Delegation each year. These are a few small ways that we can give back to the communities we serve and love. 

Shelby County Legislative Delegation (C) 2013