Stories disappear into the Benton County jail. Many of the stories are of the mentally ill who have been having difficulty acquiring mental health treatment.
With a mental health court, these stories will be documented through legal proceedings. Mental health court will document the community's need for mental health services.
The proposed public safety tax offers an opportunity to start a mental health court. This might not be the final model desired by this community, but it's a start. While waiting for the ideal court, more will enter the jails in need of treatment and their stories will continue to disappear. In addition, the courts will be tied to the existing system that has not been able to serve the mental health population.
Law enforcement portion of our community does not have the full responsibility for the problems, but is stepping up to provide a start. Let's give our police officers the tool with the passage of the the public safety tax.
KRIS KENNEDY, Pasco