Madison: Third-party service to help MPD with emergency detention transportation
Wisconsin Eagle/10233628

MADISON, Wis. ~ The Madison Police Department (MPD) has announced a pilot program that will allow them to use a third-party service for emergency detention transports to Winnebago Mental Health Facility. This program was approved in the 2021 operating budget and is intended to keep more officers in Madison responding to calls.

The traditional transport process requires two officers, who spend hours waiting on a patient's placement and then hours driving when the placement is far away. The new pilot program allows MPD to work with REDI Transports, a driving service company created to assist law enforcement agencies. REDI staff are allowed to transport any patient in police custody to Winnebago, including those involuntarily committed, Chapter 51 returns and other Chapter 51 transports such as alcohol commitments.

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Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said: "Our officers love serving in their community. And these transports can take them out of the city for hours. This switch also helps the patients. Sitting in the back of a squad car, for hours at a time, could fuel their crisis."

Officers will remain at local hospitals until patients are medically cleared for transport. Protective custody will then be transferred to REDI during the trip and picked up by Winnebago upon patient arrival. REDI was selected after a competitive proposal process and the pilot program will run through the summer.

Filed Under: Government, City

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