BEND, OR -- Local jail officials say too many people with mental health problems are filling their cells. Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel says Sheriff Shane Nelson has been working on a potential solution.
During a recent talk with the League of Women Voters, he explained the idea behind a drop off site: "What if a loved one could bring their son or daughter to a center that's not a secure facility - the person doesn't have to be there but it's trained professionals. Law enforcement is there, if something gets out of control. But, it's a place you can drop off and leave them for a day or two." He adds, "It's voluntary and paid for by the community - you don't have to pay an entry fee. Just a cooling off period so the loved ones can have some time on their own and this person can get the help they need to talk to someone. There's a site that's been identified, just a few days ago. This is really neat; it's just in the beginning steps."