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Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - Thursday, May 15, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk Count
y Publishing Company

Crisis intervention center approved for region
Polk County Enterprise - May 2008
LIVINGSTON – At Tuesday’s meeting, Judge Darrel Longino announced that after two years of negotiations and the hard work of many individuals with the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG), the 12-county COG will soon have a crisis intervention center for the mentally ill. The $2.35 million East Texas Regional Emergency Health Center will be centrally located in Angelina County and will serve the often unmet need for an intermediary center to treat and temporarily house the mentally ill until they are stabilized or until they can be transported to a long-term care facility.

According to a written statement released by the Burke Center Tuesday, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has committed to help in the acquisition of a facility to house the program. Currently, when an application is received for an emergency health pickup, there are no beds available at any of the mental institutions with which the county contracts, including those as far away as El Paso. Sheriff’s deputies must remain with the individuals at the hospital – for the safety of the patient and the public – until a space becomes available, often waiting around the clock for as long as three or four days before transporting the patient to a facility hours away.

The new crisis intervention center will give law enforcement a place to take those who are in a psychologically unstable state. There they will be evaluated and either treated and released or transported to a longterm facility by crisis center staff. The cost of housing inmates detained for criminal charges outside the county for the month of April was $22,947 for an average of eight persons per day, the sheriff’s department reported to commissioners. A previously tabled item considering the approval of an order to award the contract/ agreement for construction manager at risk for the jail expansion project was tabled again. Precinct 4 Commissioner, Tommy Overstreet announced that there were no bids for the construction of roadway and drainage improvements for Swick Trail in Big Thicket Lake Estates.

The court approved the order for a re-bid. Commissioners approved the purchase of a 50-acre rock pit in the Stryker Area of Precinct 3. Commissioners also approved a two-month interim lease in the amount of $500 – to be deducted from the final selling price. There was a brief discussion regarding Precinct 2 Constable Cunningham’s request to purchase a surplus Sheriff’s Department vehicle which is scheduled to be sold at auction. County Auditor Ray Stelly expressed concern about the court setting a precedent and advised them to think long and hard about the constable program and what the court wants it to become. Precinct 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent made a motion to leave the constable program as it is.

The motion passed unanimously. Commissioners also approved a motion declaring surplus/ salvaged property to be sold at public auction. The auction will include salvaged materials from the building demolition at the judicial center site, wooden pallets, concrete picnic tables, metal awnings and pavilions, a truck from Precinct 4 and a dump truck from Precinct 1.

The auction will most likely be held at the site of the new judicial center to avoid moving most of the salvaged property. Individuals interested in viewing or bidding on surplus or salvaged items can visit www.renebates. com – the online auction site used by the county – and search for the keywords “Polk County”.

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