Several Chippewa County officials have agreed: The best way for the county to fight the long-term effects of methamphetamine is to allocate more money to two departments.
More resources should go to the Department of Human Services and the Criminal Justice Collaborating Council, a county meth work group has decided.
Specifically, money should be designated for more community service and child protective service workers, and to the CJCC’s pretrial program.
County administrator Randy Scholz formed the group and reported its decision Tuesday to the county board.
Diverting and treating
One of CJCC’s pretrial programs is designed to divert criminal charges for one to two years while nonviolent offenders get treatment, according to the CJCC’s website.
Department heads felt giving more funding to CJCC’s pre-trial program “would limit the cost to the other departments,” Scholz said.
“We know there will need to be more resources allocated in both Human Services and CJCC in order to reduce additional cost to the county in the future and in other departments,” Scholz wrote in a June letter to the county Executive Committee.
As for costs, some of the proposed Human Services staff would be funded through Medicare, Scholz said Tuesday.
A unanimous decision
The work group is made up of representatives from 13 departments, including the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s office, Child Support and Public Health.
County department heads came to a surprising consensus, Scholz said: “The more they talked … they realized how meth is affecting so many other departments than their own.”
Some of the costs will be allocated in the 2019 budget, Scholz wrote in the letter.
The group may also develop a five-year budget plan.