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Madison poorly served by judge’s ruling

MPD recently learned that our law suit seeking to have the Mendota Mental Health Institute (MMHI) as our primary treatment facility for adult males who have been placed in protective custody under a petition for emergency detention (E.D) was not successful.  As a result of the order issued by Judge James R. Troupis, MPD will continue to have to transport those individuals who need to be taken to a state-authorized treatment facility to the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, in Oshkosh.

Obviously, I am extremely disappointed with the decision of the Court.  It had been our hope that the State’s Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services would be amenable to exercising her broad statutory administrative powers to consider the implications that long transports for E. D. clients is not in the best interests of an individual who is experiencing an episodic break, takes law enforcement officials out of our community for extended periods of time, and is extremely cost ineffective when considering the totality of costs incurred for two officers to be making a five-hour round trip to Oshkosh.

I have no doubt that the DHSS will point with pride to a policy of preventative care for the mentally ill and I have no dispute with that priority.  But this position ignores the realities of what we see every day on the streets of our community; individuals who have mental illness needs that are not---for whatever reason---being met.  It has gotten so dire in Madison that we have literally formed a Mental Health Officer program and combined forces with Journey Mental Health in order to try to assist those who have fallen between the cracks.  It had been our hope that by opening up Mendota to us, we could mitigate some of time spent out-of-Madison for both our citizens as well as keeping our public safety resources in our own neighborhoods.
 
Michael C. Koval
Chief of Police
 
 

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