After months of debate, the Pierce County Council passed a supplemental budget in June. I cosponsored the bill and compromise amendment because it makes major investments in areas that are important to the Key Peninsula and the rest of Pierce County.
We are making investments in three different mobile approaches to treating people with behavioral health problems:
While there are no acquisition funds as originally proposed by the county executive, we have committed $100,000 to locating and building a 16-bed diversion center. Currently, when first responders or family members need a place to take people in crisis, they end up in far more expensive, ineffective and overcrowded ERs and jails.
Finally, there is a $1 million appropriation, joining Tacoma, Gig Harbor and other cities and private contributors to support construction of the new psychiatric hospital led by MultiCare and CHI-Franciscan. In return, the hospital will provide crisis stabilization, inpatient, outpatient and partial hospitalization for Pierce County citizens.
Over the last two years, we’ve added 10 new fulltime sheriff’s deputies. Unfortunately, we still have inadequate coverage in rural areas like the peninsulas. I’ve sponsored an amendment with Councilmembers McCune and Roach for three additional deputies who will be deployed in the Peninsula, Mountain and Foothills detachments.
We’re also budgeting $ $1.1 million for safety improvements in the jail.
As always, if you want to discuss these or any other issues further, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 253-798-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Derek Young represents the 7th District, including the Key Peninsula, on the Pierce County Council.
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