West Side Police News & Notes
Veterans Court set to open
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Valor Court, a specialty court to handle veterans’ cases, is soon to become a reality.
An opening ceremony for the court will take place Sept. 17 at 4 p.m. in the ceremonial courtroom at the Summit County Courthouse, 209 S. High St. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor will preside at the ceremony.
Akron Municipal Court Judge Jerry Larson and Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Amy Corrigall Jones have prepared for the implementation of the court both at the felony level (Common Pleas Court) and at the misdemeanor level (Municipal Court). The judges are working together to provide consistent supervision to veterans that will be served in Summit County.
Court officials said the court will provide increased management to veterans and active duty military personnel in the criminal justice system who may be eligible for benefits and services from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For more information, contact Maria Williams, bailiff for Judge Jones, at 330-643-2228 or Jon Groza, bailiff for Judge Larson, at 330-375-2009.
September is Senior Safety Awareness Month
SUMMIT COUNTY — Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh and her staff will give safety presentations to area senior groups, as well as attend public events for senior citizens this month. There also will be a free Senior Self-Defense Class Sept. 19 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Firestone Park Community Center, 1480 Girard St. in South Akron.
On Oct. 4, the Prosecutor’s Office will have a booth at the Summit Senior Expo at Summit Mall from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Senior Safety Awareness calendars with safety tips and resources will be available.
Walsh and Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry also maintain the Take Me Home Program, which helps seniors who have trouble communicating by providing law enforcement with a tool to locate caregivers if a registrant becomes lost. For more information, visit www.co.summitoh.net/prosecutor/ and choose “Take Me Home” from the “Services” drop-down menu.
For more information, call 330-643-2800.
Juvenile Court’s Teen Court seeking volunteers
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Juvenile Court has volunteer opportunities available for county high school students interested in participating in its Teen Court program.
The volunteers will be trained on how to follow courtroom procedures and the principles of restorative justice. Upon completion, the volunteers will be part of an actual court hearing by serving in the roles of defense attorney, prosecuting attorney and jurors. Members of the Akron Bar Association and the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office mentor the teen attorneys.
All cases referred to Teen Court will involve youths facing lower-level misdemeanor charges. The youths have already entered an admission to the charge and have agreed to have the Teen Court decide the appropriate disposition. Both sides will present their cases, and the jury will deliberate to determine what sanction the youth will receive. If the youths successfully complete the terms of the disposition rendered by the jury, the charges against them will be dismissed.
Teen Court hearings are conducted twice a month during the school year, usually on Thursdays, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Many schools allow students to count the time spent volunteering on Teen Court toward their community service hours, according to court officials. Applications can be accessed on the Juvenile Court website at www.co.summit.oh.us/juvenilecourt. Click on the “General Information” tab and click the “Forms” option on the drop-down list.
Kathleen Folkerth and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.
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