New Bell County unit to assess those with mental disorders - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


New Bell County unit to assess those with mental disorders

BELL COUNTY - A grant to fund a special unit at the Bell County Sheriff’s Office could save taxpayers a big chunk of money. The unit will be trained to assess and help people who suffer from mental health disorders.

Deputies in this unit will be sent to scenes where a suspect is believed to have a mental disorder. Once the deputy arrives, they will be able to help the suspect get the help they need.

One sergeant, and four deputies will be hired to be part of the field unit.

Lieutenant Donnie Adams with the Bell County Sheriff’s Office, says often times people with mental disorders are arrested just to get them to a safe place, but those arrests cost the county thousands of dollars for minor offenses.

"Most of them we deal with are the same folks over and over again,” said Lt. Adams. “So we're hoping by getting them in the system, we will be able to monitor them and check on them to keep them out of jail, keep them out of the emergency rooms, and keep them under good healthcare."

The program is expected to save the county a significant amount of money. They will work with several other area agencies to provide safe housing and healthcare for the people they take in.

Since the unit is small, deputies will focus on helping smaller police departments, but as the unit grows, they plan to be able to help out even the larger police departments.
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