Mental illness a rising concern for Great Bend law enforcement

Great Bend Police Chief Cliff Couch says an ongoing trend through political decisions and policies has forced more requirements upon law enforcement in dealing with suspects with mental illness or disabilities.

Kansas statutes state that law enforcement officers have the authority to place anyone in protective custody if the officer believes the suspect is a threat to themselves or others.

Couch went on to say apprehending individuals with mental illness can be a very complicated and tragic problem. Couch says oftentimes officers are the first people to approach suspects with mental illness when ideally the suspects should be receiving help for their mental illness before law enforcement officers enter the picture.

(Read more: Great Bend Post)