New Bell County Crisis Intervention Unit could save the city thousands of dollars

KWKT
POSTED: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 4:28pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 10:16pm

The Bell County Sheriff's Department will receive a grant that will train duputies to provide help to those suffering from a mental health disorder.

The sheriff's department has teamed up with MHMR in Temple to train five deputies, one sergeant and four deputies, to asses and determine if the type of crime committed involves a need for a mental health intervention.

Lieutenant Donnie Adams with the Bell County Sheriff's Office, said oftentimes officers run into the same offenders who may have committed a small crime after going off of their medication. The unit will asses the subject and try to help deal with the mental health problem right away, instead of jailing them and dealing with it later. Officers have to find a safe place for these individuals and oftentimes, jailing them is their only option. The new unit will work directly with different agencies in providing the safest type of housing and care.

It currently cost the county $67 to house an inmate per day. The new Intervention Unit is expected to save the county thousands of dollars per year.

Adams also stated, the department will start off by helping smaller stations but eventually hopes to expand the program into larger departments.

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