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Agency offers Hope with Services to Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence

Oped by Commissioner Cook

  • 15 October 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2061

Volunteer committee members for the Hope Alliance Virtual 5K Race pose with Commissioner Terry Cook at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown. They are from left, Patricia Fowler, Natalie McKinnon, Tracy Lyke, Priscilla Moreno, Cook, Lesa Cantrell and Jamie Felicia (kneeling).

Williamson County has the well-deserved reputation as a great place to live for individuals and families. But beneath the surface, as well as across the world, there is a dark and sinister underbelly of family and youth violence and abuse. 

Serving those victims here in our county is Hope Alliance in Round Rock, a crisis center that assists victims of domestic or sexual violence and their families. This non-profit organization offers safety, counseling and ultimately training and skills to break the cycles of violence in which individuals live. They give victims hope for a safe and healthy life.

Don’t think this happens that often here?  The data is startling and has no socio-economic boundaries: 1 in 3 women, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 3 teenagers have been victims of a violent relationship. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries to women ages 15 to 44, and one-third of female homicides are the result of violence from an intimate partner.

While abuse is often physical—1 in 10 high school students have been purposely hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend—emotional or verbal mistreatment by a partner frequently occurs. Together they exceed the rates of all other types of youth violence. Social media greatly facilitates the mistreatment at all ages.

For these very reasons, in September, the Williamson County Commissioners Court proclaimed October as “Domestic and Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.” This past Saturday, Hope Alliance’s kickoff for their 2nd annual 5K was held in San Gabriel Park where I had the pleasure of delivering a poignant message, setting the tone for this virtual race and cause via Facebook Live.

Alternatives To Incarceration Transform Lives and Save Taxpayer Dollars

by Commissioner Cook

  • 16 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2270

The Mobile Outreach Team and the Community Health Paramedicine team from Williamson County tested children for COVID-19 at a group home in Liberty Hill on Aug. 6. Lf to Rt are Amy Jarosek, lead paramedic; Don Thornton, paramedic; Rebecca Zahler, Mobile Outreach Team mental health specialist; and Ricco Williams, Mobile Outreach Team mental health specialist.

Ideally it is best to assist persons with mental illness before they encounter law enforcement or the justice system. 

A network of mental health and substance use providers support the health and well-being of Williamson County families through a coordinated effort.  Alongside medical providers, law enforcement officers and court administrators, these partners work diligently to develop a comprehensive and collaborative system of care.  

Unfortunately, there are times when someone’s illness or substance use disorder creates a crisis, and it is necessary to call 911 to keep everyone safe.

In Williamson County, we can respond to these types of 911 calls from residents, schools and even our four precinct Constable offices in a safe and responsible manner. 

Since 2004, the Wilco Mobile Outreach Team—headed by Director Annie Burwell—has provided treatment options to persons in crises and diverted patients away from jail, hospital emergency departments and state hospitals.  

The team works closely with law enforcement and EMS agencies at the scene of a crisis by assessing the needs of the patient and the safety of all involved. 

The team has safely conducted over 35,000 calls over the past 15 years.

Sometimes it’s best for the patient and taxpayers when persons are diverted from jail even though they’ve committed a misdemeanor, such as loitering, public intoxication or trespassing. 

Commissioner Cook Announces Free Testing Site in Georgetown from Sept. 12-15

information from Media Release from Wilco's Public Information Office

  • 11 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2128

 Williamson County Office of Emergency Management in partnership with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and in coordination with the City of Georgetown will be hosting free COVID-19 testing September 12  through 15.  

Testing will be conducted at the Georgetown Community Center located at 445 East Morrow Street, beginning at 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. or until supplies last.   

This is a walk-up site that will not require an appointment prior to being tested. People interested in getting tested will be asked to park and line up for their turn. It is important to note that this is a cheek swab test, so people cannot eat, drink, or use tobacco products 20 minutes prior to the test. Please avoid bringing pets, unless it is a service animal. Residents should bring a cell phone for on-site registration. Also, please be aware that due to demand there may be a wait time. Bring shade coverings from the sun such as a hat or umbrella.   

COVID-19 testing at this site is available for all Texans, whether they are Williamson County residents or not. For more information on this and future testing sites, please visit www.wilco.org.  

Commissioner Cook Shares "Swiss Cheese" Layers of Protection from COVID-19 for Schools

Photo courtesy of the Williamson County and Cities Health District

  • 9 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2323

Commissioner Cook Reminds Wilco Residents Texas Continues Experiencing High Levels Of Sustained Community Transmission

See Williamson County and Cities Health District data below showing a need for continued mitigation and vigilance.

  • 2 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2132

New cases continue to decline, although we remain in Red phase (high community transmission) and these numbers may be artificially low due to reduced testing across the state.


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