CHICAGO—Last week, it was announced that Cook County has been recognized with nine Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
“I am proud that Cook County’s excellence and innovation has been recognized on a national level,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “These achievement awards a testament to our hardworking County employees and strong management of public programs. I am grateful for the collaboration and opportunity that NACo provides and thank them for the honor.”
Regarding Award for Police Station Representation, Amy Campanelli, the Cook County Public Defender, was appreciative of the recognition and proud to be helping it’s the citizens of Cook County at one of their most vulnerable times:
We are honored to be recognized for our Police Station Representation Unit. In 2012, 60 Minutes did a segment called “Chicago – The False Confession Capital”. When I was sworn in as the Cook County Public Defender in 2015, one of my goals was to end these false confessions, by getting my attorneys appointed to clients during their first encounter with the police and not wait until they appear in court, after these “confessions” were written/typed by the police. I am proud to be a pioneer in having a Public Defender’s Office which provides 24 hours, every day of the year, representation at any police station in Cook County.
Awards are given in 18 categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide.
The winning programs and categories are as follows:
- Chicago Defense Resiliency Program (Community and Economic Development)
- Homebuyer Direct Program (Community and Economic Development)
- Energy Efficiency Through Behavior Change Program (County Resiliency: Infrastructure, Energy & Sustain)
- Public Defender Police Station Representation (Criminal Justice and Public Safety)
- Modernizing Wheel Tax Collection and Enforcement (Financial Management)
- Regional Drug Overdose Data Collaboration (Health)
- First Responders Education Series (Risk and Emergency Management)
- Leveraging Invest in Cook Program (Transportation)
- Lincoln Highway Industrial Corridor (Transportation)