CHARLES CITY, Iowa - In Floyd County, the sheriff's office over the past two years has spent more than 2,000 hours and traveled more than 80,000 fitting a bill worth $96,000, all because not enough beds are available still for those needing mental health help.
“These are individuals that need long term beds the state is still short over 400 long term beds,” Deputy Brian Tiedemann with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office said.
Tiedemann is feeling like he’s driving more these days than a being a deputy.
“It's not like it just happened. This has been, we've had the issue for the last three or four years and it’s getting worse,” Tiedemann said.
Tiedemann is referring to those who are being committed, a process when two people feeling their loved one needs mental health help. That someone is then ordered by a judge to be picked up the sheriff's office and evaluated at the hospital. If further evaluation is needed, going to a hospital to stay longer isn't really an option Tiedemann says so they're travelling Council Bluffs nearly four hours away.
When asked do you need more deputies or more beds…
“More beds. It’s one of those things if we as law enforcement officers are stilling at the local emergency room on a committal for 72 hours especially for the small agencies you don't have a lot of patrol happening in your rural counties,” Tiedemann said.
When asked now that Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa is building a new mental health center with a total of 34 beds will that help? Tiedemann along with the sheriff say a 100 beds yes, less than 50 won't even make a dent in the issue
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