Catherine O'day comments are spot on. Detention Officers have a responsibility given to them that is totally unfair. We have dealt for decades with how to handle these problems. It is indeed unfortunate that people brought into these facilities have depression and many times are struggling mentally.
Detention facilities are ill equipped to address severe alcohol ,drug matters or mental instability. However when no one else will accept these citizens guess who the arresting officers HAVE to turn to. DETENTION . Arresting officers from the streets to detention officers from intake to cell blocks know they are dealing with volatile issues and many times if the truth were known feel caught between the ever closing vice.
I can tell you from past experience that Detention Officers have diffused dozens and dozens of attempted suicides thus saving peoples lives.
One can imagine the heartache of all involved from family and loved ones,friends of the deceased but know that the detention officers, especially those having direct or indirect supervision of that inmate many times keep it within themselves , seldom talk about their jobs with their family members for obvious reasons thus the career in this most important field ends up with turnover . This means we are losing many of the best,then seeking the best to replace them and training the new officer.. And that takes time.
I appreciate the candidness of the first two writers. It is a problem that again I emphasize has occurred over decades. Many a Sheriff and his staff have " begged " for relief in the form of other facilities being funded so they are immediately available for these people caught in untenable life circumstances . It for the most part hasn't happened. Yes some progress but not nearly enough has occurred . MORE HAS to occur . The question is when. It is what it is but until the front end of the problem is corrected the back end " arresting officers and detention officers have a dilemma few others would be willing to endure.
While always examining a better way to thwart these occurrences , the sad fact is even in the most perfect of settings they will unfortunately still occur.
Former Missoula County Sheriff
I fear this is a sign of the times and what lies ahead. While you may be cutting costs offering buying out staff you also loose outstanding writing expertise plus historical perspective of our community and surrounding areas. This may in the wrong run not be the road your readers will appreciate.
Many Missoulians rely on print for more in depth reporting that electronic media while excellent cannot afford relinquishing air time..
To Jamie Kelly may the future be good to you. You have served us well. We appreciate your good works
Missoula News/Independent Publishing |
Powered by Foundation