Emergency Custody Orders Take Officers Off the Streets - abc27 WHTM

Emergency Custody Orders Take Officers Off the Streets


Bedford Co., VA –Senator Creigh Deeds is speaking out about the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board and its treatment of his son Gus.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that Deeds spoke to the newspaper, "The Recorder" saying his life's work is now to make sure other families don't go through what they are going through.

Deeds told "The Recorder" that he cries a lot and can't focus.

State police say Deeds' son Gus stabbed him. Gus then turned a gun on himself.

No funeral arrangements have been made for the 24-year-old as of yet -- according to Nicely Funeral Home in Clifton Forge.

Gus Deeds was held on an emergency custody order a day before this incident but was released.

Dennis Cropper with the board in Rockbridge told the Times Dispatch it was because there weren't any beds available to hold him, but area psychiatric hospitals say they had beds that evening.

Creigh Deeds says in "The Recorder" that he wants justice for his son by changing the delivery system for mental health services.

Deputies were called to the Deeds home the same day that order was issued for what's been described as a non-emergency. No one was arrested or charged.

A law enforcement officer can be taken off the road for hours following the issuance of an Emergency Custody Order.

Once an  Emergency Custody Order is issued, it takes a deputy or officer off the road for at least 4 hours, 6 hours if an extension is granted. That's because that deputy is required to stay with the patient at the E-R for security reasons.

A deputy is also responsible for getting that patient to a psychiatric facility, if a temporary detention order is issued.

"We've had deputies come on shift at seven o'clock in the morning and have to go to the hospital and sit with a person," said Maj. Ricky Gardner, with the Bedford Co. Sheriff's Office. "By the end of the day it would be six or seven o'clock before they were off that call because they had to sit in the hospital and wait and transport the person to a hospital somewhere else in the state, where they found a bed available."

That could create a manpower issue that could delay response times to other calls.

If those transport trips are long enough the deputies also earn comp time to take at a later date, taking them off the road again.

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