Alabama Mental Health Concerns - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Alabama Mental Health Concerns

A mental health crisis is to blame for two Alabama shootings exactly one week apart, putting this issue back in the spotlight after steep budget cuts from state lawmakers.

Nearly two hours apart, two Sheriffs echo similar frustrations with the state's mental health crisis.

A lack of funding and closed facilities means nowhere to go for preventative treatment putting law enforcement on the front lines.

Both Sheriffs in Marion and Lauderdale County say their men aren't trained to deal with the mentally ill; not only putting their officers on the streets, but officers in the jail in danger.

"Unfortunately we sometimes get that call too late when the situation has already gotten out of control. They're a danger to themselves they're a danger to their family they're a danger to the community," says Lauderdale County Sheriff, Rick Singleton.
The Florence Police Department says they respond to anywhere from 700 to a thousand calls a year involving some form of mental illness.
Until something changes on the state level, law enforcement officials fear the situation will only get worse and they're calling on lawmakers to take action.

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