County commissioner honored by Veterans Court judge

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 Recently, Wayne County 17th District Court Judge Karen Khalil presented Oakland County Commissioner Mike Bosnic with a special medallion for his tireless work with veterans as part of the 17th District Veterans Court program. Bosnic was given the honor at the spring graduation ceremony of participants on May 15.  

The 17th District Court Veteran’s Court program began in November 2011. In his role as a local prosecutor, Bosnic serves as one of the gatekeepers for the program and has been one of its strong advocates. 

“I was fortunate to be involved in one of the first Veteran’s Court programs in the Novi District Court and was happy to contribute when Judge Khalil spoke to me about starting a program in her court.  We owe our freedom to our veterans and it is inspiring to see a local court make a specialized effort to reach out to those veterans who need a helping hand,” Bosnic stated.  

Khalil’s program was the fourth “Veterans Court” in Michigan, and one of a handful in the United States.  

“Veterans Court” participants are evaluated for service-related health and behavioral issues, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), battlefield injuries, depression and dependence on substances.  These are factors which have been shown to play a key role in the commission of crimes by veterans.  Veterans who voluntarily participate in the program must plead guilty to the misdemeanor crime for which they are charged. 

After the plea, they are to complete an intensive probationary term that includes rehabilitation, drug and alcohol testing, meeting with a probation officer and VA representatives, counseling, and treatment for their military-related issues.