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:
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2017 Regular Session Delegation Bills
By Mimi Penhale, Legislative Director
The 2017 Regular Session is well underway and this session is already shaping up to be exciting. As always, budgets and funding concerns are a top issue for legislators. This session will also feature a bill on building prisons, a bill that would remove the requirement to have concealed carry permits, bills in both the House and Senate related to the Impeachment process, and a bill that would eliminate the state grocery tax. With all these topics gaining major interest, sometimes other legislation gets over looked. Read on to see what your Shelby Delegation is working on.
Rep. Jim Carns has one bill filed so far this session. His bill would make Southern Research Institute exempt from state, county, and municipal sales taxes. Rep. Carns is serving as the Chair of both the Commerce and Small Business Committee and the Jefferson County Delegation, as well as, serving on the Children and Senior Advocacy, the Shelby County Delegation, and the County and Municipal Government Committees.
Rep. Dickie Drake has three bill filed, at this time. These bills focus on military issues, which are very important to Rep. Drake, as he continues to serve as Vice Chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. Two of the bills focus on the creation and funding of the Alabama Job Creation and Military Stability Commission and the third bill would allow military recruiters access in schools.
Rep. Corley Ellis, the newest member of our Delegation, was elected to fill Mike Hill’s vacancy last fall. Rep. Ellis is in his first session as a legislator and he is serving on the Local Legislation, Financial Services, and Shelby County Delegation Committees. During this time, he is focusing on learning the legislative process and helping constituents who need guidance within governmental agencies.
Rep. Allen Farley has filed one bill this session. The bill would require the Department of Corrections to allow inmates to purchase non-driver identification cards prior to being released. Rep. Farley is serving as the Vice Chair of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, as well as serving as a member of the Children and Senior Advocacy, Judiciary, Shelby County Delegation, and Jefferson County Delegation Committees.
Rep. Matt Fridy has ten bills he is currently carrying this session. The bills range from laws giving Probate Judges contempt powers, eyeglass sales, pro-life legislation, establishing the Transportation Commission, parental rights, and legislation allowing public servants’, who die in the line of duty, spouses the ability to keep receiving benefits after remarrying. Most notable of Rep. Fridy’s bills is one that would establish term limits of four full terms for members of the Alabama House and Senate.
Rep. Arnold Mooney has filed two bills so far this session. His bills focus on granting certain authority to healthcare providers and a bill that would allow law enforcement employment authorization for Briarwood Presbyterian Church. His healthcare bill would allow healthcare providers the authority to decline to perform a service that violates their conscience.
Rep. April Weaver is carrying twelve bills this session. Her bills focus mostly on Healthcare issues, such as, tax credits for rural physicians and dentists, civil immunity for volunteer caregivers, making it a criminal penalty to traffic Fentanyl, and several bills related to the State Nursing Board. One of Rep. Weaver’s bills would create the Safe Birth Options Act, allowing lay midwives to register as a state board and assist with delivers at birthing centers. Rep. Weaver also has legislation related to indigent defense, minor mothers, and a bill that would make it a crime of assault in the second degree to injure a social worker while preforming their duties.
Sen. Slade Blackwell has two pre-filed bills, both of which focus on insurance. One the bills he is carrying would makes amendments to the Alabama Risk-Based Capital for Insurers Act and the other would waive continuing education requirements for some Insurance Adjusters who have already done specific coursework for licensing. Sen. Blackwell is not new to this kind of insurance legislation, as he is again serving as the Banking and Insurance Chair.
Sen. Jim McClendon, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Health Committee, has filled three bills so far this session. This year, his legislation is ranges from Shelby County Board of Education elections, schools allowing students to use sunscreen at school, and midwifery in Alabama. His local legislation, if passed, would restrict cities with their own Board of Education from electing the Superintendent of the Shelby County Board of Education. His midwife bill would establish a State Board of Midwifery to license and regulate the practice of certified professional midwifery.
Sen. Jabo Waggoner is carrying ten bills, so far, this session. His prefilled bills range in focus from alcohol sales, local government training institute, clarifying the Real Estate Commission’s authority, exempting certain entities from sales tax, require hospital directory to be sent to the Department of Public Health, the Security Commission compensation, Birmingham City Council, historic buildings income tax credits, and municipal parking enforcement procedures. His historical buildings bill, which he also carried last year, would extend the tax credit for the rehabilitation of qualified structures in Alabama. He will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee and the Jefferson County Delegation, as well as, Vice Chair of the Senate Confirmations Committee.
Sen. Cam Ward has filed nineteen bills this session. His large list of legislation focuses on a variety of things, a few of which are prisons, inmate issues, healthcare, municipal weed abatement ordinances, family law, and eminent domain, to name a few. He is also carrying several companion bills that our House Delegation members are also carrying. By introducing these bills in both the House and Senate, the legislators are increasing the chances that the bills will get passed. This will be his seventh session as Judiciary Chairman, and he will continue to focus on the prison overcrowding crisis.
While this may seem like a large number of bills being carried, often times only a few will pick up enough traction to actually get passed. Some of this legislation will not garner enough attention or votes to pass during the Regular Session, so legislators will be left to either carry it next session or drop them until they can get enough support. Only time will tell what bills the Alabama Legislature, and the Shelby Delegation, will pass this session.
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