Emergency Management and Homeland Security
The office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security made significant improvements in 2020 while handling many historic demands. Franklin County became the first county in the nation to be granted “super-user” status by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security allowing local agencies to receive information & intelligence from the federal agency 24 hours a day.
The Emergency Management team also managed the county’s emergency operations center for COVID-19. This center, which was activated on March 12, 2020, facilitated more than 100 briefings with partner agencies and provided a host of other services for the collective response to the pandemic.
The agency also assisted with help acquiring and distributing millions of pieces of personal protective equipment including:
pieces for residents, nonprofits and governmental agencies.
masks to schools around
Central Ohio were distributed assisting the Educational
Service Center of Central Ohio.
citizen aid kits, which could be used in mass trauma events where public help is needed
Emergency Management staff collected and distributed millions of pieces of protective equipment.
Justice Policy and Programs
The Office of Justice Policy and Programs helps many Franklin County residents in great need and added two significant programs in 2020. First, the agency merged with the nonprofit, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Franklin County (CASA) which provides volunteer guardian ad litem services to abused or neglected children in Domestic and Juvenile Court. CASA assisted 767 children and trained 62 new volunteers in 2020.
The office also offered new hope through the Pathways program for repeat offenders at considerable risk of overdose and death due to opioid use, mental health issues, or who may have unstable housing upon release.
The program, previously available to women, was also offered to men in 2020. Together the programs helped a total of 95 people last year by linking them to much needed services which will help them become independent. The program not only helps reduce recidivism, it also saves hundreds of thousands of dollars in jail costs.