Club Updates

Don't forget about the challenged student luncheon at West Ottawa on April 28th. We would like to have at least 30 Rotarians attending.
Signup for Tulip Time Grandstand Greeters is still open. If you're not marching in the parade Thursday with the area Rotarians, you can be in the stands having fun with the visitors.
And speaking of marching in the parade, did you know that your family is welcome as well?
Ed Swart was presented with a check for his winnings from the District Foundation Raffle. Jim White also was a winner and he will get his check when he returns to Holland.
The community service team is looking for drivers to take our Afghan refugee family to Dutch Village on community day. This is April 23rd. You can probably pick up the trash on the highway that morning and make it over to Dutch Village.
April 23rd is our highway cleanup day. Let Mike Moraw know you'll be there to help.
Gary Bogle reported that the little library group could use one more bookhouse monitor because we have installed another library.

Ottawa County Crisis Intervention Team

The Ottawa Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) was started in September 2021 and is unique on this side of the state. Ottawa county has two co-response teams. A co-response team consists of a law enforcement officer and a mental health clinician who respond to calls together. Holland Public Safety has a team and the Sheriff has a team. It is unique for an area to have co-response teams.
CIT started in Memphis TN in response to an incident in 1988. CIT training is available in 47 states with 2700 training programs. Three states mandate CIT training for all law enforcement officers. Ottawa County uses training available at Wayne State University for the state of Michigan. The initial training is 40 hours. The Ottawa County team will be training officers in the county in June. Their goal is to have all officers in the county trained in CIT techniques.
The goals of the CIT approach are:
  • Disrupt a crisis before it escalates.
  • Identify calls to 911 central dispatch that can be handled by the co-response team.
  • Avoid hospitalization or jail for citizens.
  • Connect citizens to community resources for mental health, substance abuse, and financial support.
  • Relieve strain on the criminal justice system by handling cases in non-judicial manners.
The CIT co-response teams are available Monday-Friday on the first shift. Community Mental Health has trained crisis team clinicians available 24 hours a day via telephone. Central dispatch operators are being trained to identify calls that should be handled by the CIT team and the co-response teams also monitors radio traffic to select calls where they can be of help. This year there have been 186 individual calls in Holland City and 185 in Ottawa County handled by the CIT teams.
A historical method of police response is Ask (request of citizen); Tell (require compliance); Make (by use of force). The CIT response emphasizes calm interaction to de-escalate the situation and an understanding of the balance between emotionality and rationality. After the situation has been de-escalated, the root cause can be determined and referrals can be made to community organizations.
Stressors causing conflict that escalates to law enforcement are covid, housing, and substance abuse. The team is funded by federal money through February of 2023 and they are hoping that the county will pick up the operational expenses through the Community Mental Health budget.