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Lane County Hopes Consent Form Will Help First Responders Deal With People in Crisis

Rachael McDonald

Lane County is hoping to change the way law enforcement and other first responders interact with people with mental illness. A simple consent form is part of a new initiative aimed at improving response to those in crisis. 

The voluntary form will include information about a person’s mental health condition and who to contact in a crisis.  Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp says his deputies interact with people with mental illnesses regularly. 
 “And so, I know that these circumstances occur in Lane County with city police officers, state troopers, and deputy sheriffs and parole and probation.” Trapp says, “These occur on a daily basis. So this is critical to enhancing the safety of our community members, those who suffer the mental illnesses and their families and certainly for the officers involved.”

Credit Rachael McDonald

Trapp says the consent form information will be shared among law enforcement agencies. He says it gives options for de-escalation and resolution that the officers might otherwise not know of and may keep people with mental illnesses out of jail. 

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.