A DECISION BY THE STATE IS JEOPARDIZING THE HEALTH
OF PATIENTS AND PUBLIC SAFETY - THAT ACCORDING TO
TOP LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS IN MADISON - MILWAUKEE
AND DANE COUNTY.
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THE THREE ARE ASKING FOR CHANGES AND WANT THEM SOONER
RATHER THAN LATER.
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NEWS 3 REPORTER DAVE DELOZIER IS HERE WITH MORE.
THIS DEBATE REALLY CENTERS ON HOW AND WHERE EMERGENCY
MENTAL HEALTH DETENTIONS ARE HANDLED.
KEEP IN MIND THAT A PERSON IN CRISIS NEEDS MENTAL
HEALTH CARE SOONER RATHER THAN LATER - IT IS AN EMERGENCY
A CHANGE MADE BY THE STATE FOR ADULT MALE PATIENTS
PUTS THAT CARE ON HOLD FOR TWO AND HALF HOURS OR MORE.
people in a crisis are already traumatized.
BEFORE APRIL 1ST OF THIS YEAR, CARE FOR ADULT MALES
REQUIRING EMERGENCY MENTAL HEALTH DETENTIONS WAS AVAILABLE
HERE - AT THE MENDOTA MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTE.
LAST YEAR ALONE, MADISON POLICE BROUGHT 41 PATIENTS
HERE FOR CARE - THAT HOWEVER CAN NO LONGER HAPPEN.
NOW - IF A HOSPITAL BED CAN'T BE FOUND HERE - TWO
POLICE OFFICERS MUST DRIVE THE PATIENT MORE THAN 80
MILES UP THE ROAD TO THE WINNEBAGO MENTAL HEALTH CARE
INSTITUTE IN OSHKOSH.
IT'S A FIVE HOUR, ROUND TRIP.
on nights at 11 pm 2 officers out of five officers
staged in the west district with the geographical
terrain and with the robust nature of calls being
what they are, that's putting officers at risk because
we have to compensate by getting other officers there
quickly to backfill and that's keeping the community
people at risk because there's a longer time gap in
getting those officers to respond.
THERE IS ALSO THE IMPACT A TWO AND A HALF HOUR RIDE
IN THE BACK OF A POLICE CAR - HANDCUFFED - HAS ON
A PERSON IN A MENTAL CRISIS.
it does make it worse because then they're experiencing
more trauma and they are going to need more time and
more recovery time to overcome that.
MONDAY AFTERNOON THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
ISSUED THIS STATEMENT IN RESPONSE -
THERE WAS NO REDUCTION IN CIVIL BED CAPACITY FOR THE
STATE AS A RESULT OF THIS CHANGE.
THE NUMBER OF CIVIL BEDS REMAINS THE SAME, IT'S JUST
THAT NOW ALL CIVIL COMMITMENTS ARE TRANSPORTED TO
BUT IT IS THAT CHANGE IN POLICY THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT
so the chief of milwaukee and i and sheriff mahoney,
we are all of the same opinion.
this issue has to be addressed sooner rather than
THE OTHER ISSUE MENTAL HEALTH CARE ADVOCATES POINT
TO IS THIS IS TAKING PATIENTS 2 AND A HALF HOURS AWAY
FROM THEIR FAMILIES AND SUPPORT SYSTEMS.
THEY ALSO SAY MENDOTA IS ACCEPTING ADULT MALE PATIENTS
REFERRED BY PHYSICIANS BUT
NOT FROM CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES.
ERIC - THIS IS AN ISSUE LAW ENFORCEMENT IS POISED
TO ARGUE AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW IT.
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