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Bluffs council, Police Chief support proposed day treatment center for kids

Bluffs council, Police Chief support proposed day treatment center for kids
Scottsbluff Police Chief Kevin Spencer addresses City Council February 5, 2018. (Strang/RRN/KNEB)

The Scottsbluff City Council Monday evening approved sending a letter of support for a bill being proposed by Gering Senator John Stinner bill that would provide a day treatment center in the region for detection and treatment of mental illness in school children.

“Panhandle Beginnings” is a pilot project where children of all ages could get mental health services close to their families that is not currently being provided in the classroom.

Police Chief Kevin Spencer spoke in favor of such a center, noting the hope would be for intervention prior to police involvement. Spencer said Police have had troubled youth in custody for as long as a week or two because there are just no other options available right now.

The Legislature’s Education Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Monday, February 12th.

The bill calls for an appropriation of $433,668 per fiscal year, after its initial start-up, to fund Panhandle Beginnings. Stinner said that over a long period of time, it will pay for itself.

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