Garfield County commissioners get community corrections safety report
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Garfield County commissioners on Monday received a 15-page report outlining several new safety policies for community corrections after a county worker’s truck struck a client who was on his way to work in December.
Among the new safety recommendations in the report is for the county to offer community corrections clients transportation to and from their work sites ” a policy that has already been implemented, according to the report.
Paul Reaser, Garfield County’s senior environmental health specialist, presented his investigation report into the Dec. 12 incident in which Patrick Antonelli, 63, a county employee, struck community corrections client John T. Bauer with a county-owned 1998 Ford F250 on County Road 333 near the alternative-sentencing facility.
Bauer was taken to the Grand River Medical Center after the collision, but was transported back to community corrections the same day. Antonelli works as a mechanic for the county and was cited with careless driving causing bodily injury and no proof of insurance, according to the report.
The county’s community corrections program is an alternative sentencing option for mostly nonviolent, mid-level felony offenders.
Reaser said his investigation into the incident showed the road was snowpacked and that the scene of the accident was poorly lit. His report included pictures taken a day after the accident in similar lighting conditions with people wearing reflective vests and others not wearing the vests.
“The pictures tell a thousand words,” Reaser said.
Bauer was not wearing a reflective safety vest or carrying a flashlight, and he was wearing dark clothes, according to the report. Staff did not issue Bauer a flashlight or reflective vest because they thought someone was going to pick him up at the community corrections’ parking lot, the report said.
An immediate action plan calls on community corrections staff to issue a reflective vest, a flashlight, bicycle lights and a bicycle helmet to each of their clients. Those items will be kept by each client in lockers or storage bins, and staff will no longer “be responsible for issuing the safety equipment each time a client departs the facility,” the report said.
“Clients will be responsible (for wearing) reflective vests at all times, regardless of time of day or the lighting conditions, anytime they are walking along any roadway,” the report said.
Failure to comply with any of the directives issued after the incident may subject the client to disciplinary action, which could include removal from the community corrections program, the report said.
During commissioners’ consideration of the matter, they approved redirecting a county 15-passenger van, which had been scheduled for auction, to community corrections to provide clients with transportation to work.
Commissioners, when they considered the matter, also directed county manager Ed Green and county services administrator Dale Hancock to look into building sidewalks along county roads 333 and 352.
Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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