Funds sought for bi-county crisis center

TRI-CITIES - Benton-Franklin Counties Crisis Response Unit is seeking other ways to pay for a bi-county center.

County leaders are working to get grants and create local partnerships with health agencies. They also work with the jails. People are often arrested when they are really in need of psychiatric help.

Franklin County currently houses 11 people who use - or should use psych meds.

"Mentally incompetent to be on their own, yet they're maybe living on the streets - maybe they're living at home. They commit crimes even against their own families and so they end up being brought to jail because law enforcement doesn't have any place else to take them," said Franklin County Corrections Captain Rick Long.

Beyond offering medication and nursing staff - jail officers can use what's known as a "suicide smock" to help an inmate. This can prevent an inmate from hurting themselves.