The People's City Mission faces more and more cases of mental health in their shelter. Including drop-offs from local entities. The problem is, Pastor Tom Barber said they aren't equipped with the personnel or training to handle severe mental health problems.
Last night, Pastor Tom told 10/11 News that Beatrice Police dropped off a woman with, what he calls, obvious mental health issues after they told the Mission she seemed just fine. He said when they dropped her off Mission staff immediately recognized an issue that they couldn't handle and tried to get the officers to return for the woman. When Beatrice Police never returned, Pastor Tom said the Mission contacted Lincoln Police who came and dealt with the situation.
The Beatrice Police Department said that they had the woman in their station for four hours, but because her only behavior was talking to herself, they were unable to take her into custody for mental health. They said in order to do so she would have had to have been an immediate threat to herself or others, and she was not. BPD said they have known of the woman for some time and have encountered her in the past, but couldn't comment on whether or not she's had previous mental health episodes. They said once she had been taken to the People's City Mission- a choice they made to give her a place to sleep after calling DHHS for a placement to no success- the woman was no longer in their jurisdiction.
Pastor Tom said the officer said she would return to pick up the woman when they first called. BPD said they couldn't return to the Mission for her because she was then under Lincoln's jurisdiction. BPD's Chief told 10/11 there may have been a need for better communication back to the Mission after the officer spoke with supervisors who told her not to return.
BPD said LPD called to get more information on the situation and handled it from there.
The woman is now in the care of Adult Protective Services.