Grant funding, if awarded, to train officers dealing with mentally ill inmates
EL PASO — More than $600,000 may come to the El Paso County Jail to help train detention officers with the Sheriff's Office on dealing with mentally ill patients.
Last year, the jail housed 9,000 inmates who were also mentally ill, said County Judge Veronica Escobar.
"We fund their drugs, whatever care they need, but our detention officers need to be trained and supervised," said Escobar.
Monday, County Commissioners voted unanimously to let the Sheriff's Office apply for a grant furbished by the U.S. Dept. Of Justice that will provide the money needed to train officers on how to deal with these cases.
"It's about treating people in the most humane way," said Escobar. "It's also about preventing lawsuits."