Assembly OKs bill clarifying emergency detention options

A generic photo of the Capitol building

MADISON, Wis. — The state Assembly has approved a bill designed to help police better deal with time-consuming emergency mental health detentions.

Officers have complained for years that they spend too much time waiting in emergency rooms for doctors to clear people for transport and driving them to facilities. The Assembly signed off on a bill Wednesday that clarifies police departments can contract with other law enforcement agencies, ambulance companies or third parties to transport emergency detainees.

The bill also requires state health officials to seek any federal approval they may need to provide Medicaid reimbursement to counties for transportation costs.