The County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board (Summit DD) recently entered into a contract for investigative services from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. The contract will ensure timely and thorough investigation for all reported major unusual incidents, or MUIs, of criminal nature against any person in Summit County with a developmental disability.
Detective Joseph Storad, the dedicated officer from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, will be working in partnership with Summit DD’s MUI agents and local jurisdictions in Summit County to investigate MUIs that may result in criminal prosecution. Det. Storad is looking forward to his new role within the Sheriff’s department. When asked about the position, he said that the position interested him primarily because of the positive impact he thought the role could make. “I see this position as being a voice for people who deserve justice,” he said thoughtfully. “The goal isn’t arrests, but to create a sense of closure for individuals and investigators working on these cases.”
Prior to this collaboration, Summit DD MUI Agents worked with dozens of community law enforcement agencies to investigate criminal misconduct against people with disabilities. This new partnership will make investigation and tracking of MUIs easier and most importantly, consistent. “Rather than 26 individual law enforcement agencies, this will create one central place of law enforcement contact for our MUI Department ‒ hopefully resulting in an increase in prosecutions,” stated Tom Armstrong, Summit DD Superintendent.
Director of Summit DD’s MUI Department, Lindsay Bachman, agrees there are benefits for individuals served by Summit DD, the Agency itself, and for the numerous law enforcement agencies in Summit County. “We understand that resources are limited for local police departments. We hope to offer additional support to assist them with cases such as these,” Bachman explained.
Within days of him coming on board, Det. Storad was able to assist in the arrest of a woman who allegedly stole medications intended for a person with a developmental disability, supporting the need for this new collaboration. The ability to have a single point of contact helped fill communication gaps and led to an arrest.
Board President, Randy Briggs sees this partnership as an additional method to make sure that these cases never fall through the cracks. “This is a good first step to make sure that these cases are prosecuted,” Briggs stated emphatically. “As the primary force for individuals with developmental disabilities in this community, we’re going to take care of that.”
The primary goal of Summit DD is to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the more than 4,000 people it serves. The collaboration between Summit DD and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office is another way to further safeguard and enforce laws that protect individuals with disabilities.
The County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board is a levy-funded agency that provides services to more than 4,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in Summit County. It is the organization’s mission to offer a lifetime of services and supports to eligible individuals and families that enable people with developmental disabilities to work, live, and learn as equal citizens in their communities. More information regarding the agency is available online atwww.summitdd.org.