Sheriff Jim Horton talked about the mental health crisis, and what Tillamook County and the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office are doing to address some of the issues facing our community, in a video posted on social media Dec. 26.
Horton said people suffering from a mental health crisis often end up in the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system has limited resources and someone who is suffering from a crisis needs care that they cannot receive in a custody situation.
“The Sheriff’s Office is committed to public safety and committed to helping our community partners solve this problem,” Horton said.
Horton said Tillamook County is developing a behavioral health court. This is designed to identify and respond to individuals who are suffering from a mental health crisis or some type of disorder.
The Sheriff’s Office Community Corrections Division, District Attorney’s Office, Circuit Court, members of the local defense bar, Tillamook Family Counseling Center, and Adventist Health are collaborating on the program to provide insight and strategies on acquiring treatment, acute care or outpatient programs, and interventions for those suffering from a crisis.
Horton said the mental health crisis is a real issue for Tillamook County. The Mental Health Court is a great example of how the community has come together to solve a common problem.
“I’m very, very pleased with the progress we’ve made,” Horton said.
The Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office has developed a grant application, which was submitted to the Criminal Justice Commission. They have recently received a grant from the Criminal Justice Commission of $77,000 that will be used to partially fund this program.
That money will be used to finance a community corrections deputy to monitor the caseload and work with the local defense bar and district attorney’s office, and circuit court on alternatives that remove people from the criminal justice system and into treatment programs.
“Our startup date for this program is January 2020,” Horton said.
Horton said they plan to have logistics in place, programs online, and working a caseload at that time. They will continue to work with community partners in a collaborative effort to identify and help those in need.