Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office announces new Crisis Diversion Center

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 8:20 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is planning for a new Crisis Diversion Center.

The center will people who are dealing with mental illness and/or addiction.

“The JCSO has been integrally involved in the planning for the Crisis Diversion Center because of our concern for so many individuals who are brought to our jails with either mental illness, addiction issues, or both,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway. “While we provide assistance for those individuals at the jail, our vision is to provide them faster assistance without having to be brought into the criminal justice system.”

Details about the planned center come on the heels of JCSO deputies completing new CIT training. Through a partnership with the state Crisis Intervention Team, deputies were able to learn best practices on how to respond to calls involving people with behavioral disorders. “As we progress as a department, and as law enforcement progresses, we’re always learning new things,” said Lieutenant Ellen Scheirer. “When we learn to recognize the symptoms of a mental health illness, we’re better equipped as an agency to handle that situation in a different way.”

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