Dakota County was selected to receive three 2014 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties for the following programs: Creation of Drinking Water Profiles for At-Risk Communities; Sleep On It; and Workplace\ Violence Prevention Continuum — De-escalation to Lockdown.
The Creation of Drinking Water Profiles for At-Risk Communities project helped evaluate the risk of nitrate contaminated groundwater for Dakota County residents that rely on private wells. After mailing each household a nitrate testing kit, the County was able to confirm through sample results that shallower wells were at greater risk of nitrate contamination. Residents with those wells were then able to take appropriate measures to avoid the health risks of nitrate-contaminated water.
The Sleep On It campaign was developed to save infants’ lives after three infants died in just more than a year from being placed in unsafe sleeping positions in licensed Dakota County child care homes. The campaign drew attention from almost two dozen other counties in the state and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The Minnesota Governor declared Sept. 23-27, 2013 as 2013 Infant Safe Sleep Week.
The Workplace Violence Prevention Continuum — De-escalation to Lockdown project started by evaluating Dakota County’s existing workplace violence program and identifying better ways to investigate and promptly respond to issues.
The project allowed Dakota County to insert a safety alert flag on its client index system to indicate if staff should take special safety precautions when meeting with a client. Personal safety training classes were also created. An e-learning interactive training was developed to respond to lockdown situations that involve armed individuals.