Jarrad Aason

Jarrad Aason speaks to guests at the Codington County Drug Court Graduation on Friday.  Looking on is Watertown Assistant Chief of Police, Tim Toomey, and Circuit Court Judges Carmen Means and Patrick McCann. 

Friday’s commencement ceremony in Codington County Drug Court was a special day for Jarrad Aason.  In addition to releasing Aason from his probation, Circuit Court Judge Carmen Means, who presides, also had this to say: 

Key speaker at Friday’s program was Tim Toomey Assistant Watertown Police Chief.  Toomey, a strong proponent and Drug Court team member shared his own story of struggles as a teen when his family fell apart the result of addictions and mental health issues leaving he and his six other siblings to basically fend for themselves.  Following a lengthy time of struggles, Toomey left his home state of New York in service to the U-S Air Force.  He said it was the best thing that had happened in his life.  He said that time in the military turned his own life around and eventually led to his life in law enforcement here at Watertown. His life story was directed towards the other drug court attendees who are working their way through the program following incarceration and addiction issues: 

Toomey encouraged Aason and the other drug court attendees to show up, be honest, and try: 

Aason was introduced by former Codington County and Current circuit judge Patrick McCann who prosecuted Aason years ago.  Friday’s courtroom setting was a far different one as McCann rose to introduce Jarrad as a person who has come a long way in his recovery since 2012: 

For his part, Jarrad told the attendees that Drug Court was difficult, but worth it: 

 Aason said that one’s attitude and character has to change for the Drug Court program to work: 

Earlier last week Aason met with Governor Kristi Noem and Chief Justice Gilbertson in Pierre to promote the Drug Court Program to the rest of the state.  He has also been very active locally with the Big Brothers And Sisters behind Bars program to help recovering addicts and incarcerated individuals.  Also recognized and presented plaques during the ceremony were numerous Drug Court partners including the Human Service Agency, Brothers and Sisters Behind Bars, Midwest Bible Camp, and the United Way.