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Police: Mental health investigations in Lincoln increasing

Police: Mental health investigations in Lincoln increasing
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Lincoln, Neb. —  Officials say Lincoln police are struggling to respond to more mental health calls as mental health services are at or near capacity.

Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister tells The Lincoln Journal Star that officers responded to more than 3,500 mental health calls last year. He says the department has seen a nearly 10 percent increase through May when compared with the same period last year.

Officer Luke Bonkiewicz says that while mental health calls make up about 2.5 percent of calls, they tend to take longer. He says officers want to help everyone, but resources sometimes aren’t available.

Bliemeister recently told the City Council that an officer had to transport a person going through a mental health crisis nearly 100 miles to the nearest hospital with an opening.

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