STURGIS, S.D. – The Meade County Commission has deferred taking action on a proposal from Meade County Sheriff Pat West to accept a crisis intervention grant.
Sheriff West went before the Commission this week and told them the department had received a Crisis Intervention Team grant. The grant will allow some deputies to become master certified and while also training other deputies in de-escalating mental health situations that deputies encounter in the field.
However, part of the grant requires the department to hire another deputy to pick up patrol responsibilities while other officers are training.
West says the grant will pay 59-percent of salary and benefits for the new deputy, but the county will need to pick up the additional cost for three years. In the fourth year, the county will have to pay the full cost of the deputy.
Commissioners discussed the proposal but decided since Commissioner Rich Liggett was absent, they would defer taking action until they had a full commission.
Most agreed with Sheriff West on the importance of the training but were concerned on how to make up the additional costs of hiring another deputy.