At last week's Community Meeting at the fire station on Wapato Avenue, law enforcement took center stage, with newly elected Chelan County Sheriff Mike Morrison, Jail Director Chris Sharp, and Behavioral Health Unit Manager Anna Johnson. The unit rides with law enforcement to virtually all calls; Johnson gave an overview of some of the calls they've responded to:
Johnson says the size of the Behavioral Health Unit has grown; Johnson was the first hire by the county in September 2021, now the unit has grown to four. Its mission is to divert people from incarceration or hospitalization, with an eventual goal of taking those calls out of law enforcement's hands, and put them to a specialized unit or clinician who can deescalate a situation. Johnson says the unit works weekdays, spread across the county, and most often there is a clinician riding with a deputy in the Chelan area.