MASON CITY, Iowa - With mental health on the minds of many, county law enforcement officers are asking for more "triage" centers to be built in the state.
Iowa state officials say nearly a third of inmates in prison are suffering from a mental illness.
Cerro Gordo County's Sheriff Kevin Pals says he sees it in their jail too. The Iowa State Sheriff's and Deputies Association are asking six more triage centers be built across the state.
These centers are for those who are committed voluntarily, involuntarily or who need immediate mental health can go to be assessed instead of going to the ER or jail.
“We're getting close to that right now a couple years ago they started a crisis stabilization center in Waterloo which is fairly convenient for us with the Avenue of the Saints and getting people there but not everyone's criteria fits that they can go into those centers,” Pals said.
Sheriff Pals has been learning a lot about these centers and would like to see one end up near or in Mason City. Where these centers could be built haven't been stated.
Those with the association are just pleading there needs to be more community based treatment programs.