MIDLAND, TX (Big 2/ Fox 24) – The mental health crisis in Midland has been an ongoing issue, and Midland County Sheriff”s Office and Midland Police Department want to ensure Midlanders are getting the proper service for their mental health.
“We want to go and contact them then instead of prior to them violating the law,” says Rory McKinney, Chief deputy of Midland County Sheriff’s Office. “That’s what our main focus is to help them get the treatment they need before going to the jail facility.”
Reaching out is what both the Midland Sheriff’s Office and Midland Police Department want to do for those in need of help.
“Get the help and treatment that they need without going to jail,” says Sheriff Richard Jillette of Midland County. “Keeping them out of the criminal system and get them into the mental health system.”
Both Jillette and McKinney say they receive calls almost every day from family members who need help with their loved one’s mental health. Therefore, the mental health task force would help the patient and their family members.
“A lot of times, these people will wind up in the county jail; they don’t get the proper care that they deserve,” Jillette says. ” And of course, our jail is overcrowded; that’s another problem.”
A problem both law enforcement agencies are trying to battle.
“Instead of going to a jail facility, go to a proper facility where they can properly treat,” says McKinney. “We do not want them in jail sitting there in a jail cell for months on end without receiving the proper care.”
Midland County Sheriff’s Office has been providing this help for years, but now with a fully staffed department, the Midland Police Department could now get involved.
“The Midland Police Department was also involved with the task force years ago, but unfortunately, due to all of our enforcement-agencies that crunch in employees, they had to pull from that,” says McKinney. “But now they’re back to staff to where they can start utilizing and start putting back the mental health task force.”