Twenty-two years of dedication to a unique program that helps those who find themselves violating the law because of alcohol and drug use has earned Sevier County deputy sheriff John Jorgensen a special state award.
"It is the only program in Utah which follows a client all the way through from the driving under the influence arrest to its conclusion, (and) where the client does not slip through the cracks somewhere along the way," said Sheriff's Lt. Delbert Lloyd.Jorgensen is the recipient of the Utah Alcohol Policy's Alcohol Education and Training Law Enforcement Recognition Award.
Lloyd, who nominated Jorgensen for the award, said the Sevier County program impacts about 2,000 people per year and has been expanded into neighboring counties. Recipients vary from those with potential alcohol and drug problems to those with severe problems.
The process begins with an offender's arrest, which sets the uniqueness of the alcohol and drug program into motion, Lloyd said. Next comes assessment, jail detoxification, intervention counseling and medical detoxification assistance, when necessary. The program also offers family and prevention counseling as well as assessments by cooperating district, justice and juvenile courts.
"John has created a togetherness in all agencies, which has helped make it a very unusual and efficient program," Lloyd said. "Other alcohol and law enforcement agencies are now wanting to pattern their rehabilitation efforts after the same pattern of teamwork in the Sevier County program. It has been a liaison between offenders, attorneys and the courts."
Lloyd said the Juvenile Detention Center in Richfield also receives expertise through the county's alcohol and drug prevention program.
An important part of the process is court recommendations. Drug testing is done, when necessary, and people in recovery then receive after-care treatment. Other counseling, crisis centers and family support systems are used in conjunction with the program.