County changes security at new mental health center

Guilford County has made many safety changes this year and now there is another on the way.

The county is transferring security duties from the Guilford County Behavioral Health Center at 931 Third St. in Greensboro from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department to the Guilford County Security Department.

The new center, which is supposed to offer holistic treatment to those in difficulty, is designed to be a “one door” or “no wrong door” portal for mental health and addiction cases.

The original agreement between Guilford County and Cone Health for the operation of the facility provided that Guilford County would provide sworn officers on duty all day and all night.

In the 2020-2021 county fiscal budget, to meet this obligation, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved funding for five sworn deputy positions for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department.

Information county staff recently provided to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners states: “The desire for sworn positions was originally identified to help improve the efficiency of the involuntary commitment process for enforcement resources of After reassessing the agreement, now that the center has been opened, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office is asking to end participation in the behavioral health emergency care facility effective of October 10, 2022 and be released from any further obligation to swear an oath Sheriff’s Deputies are to provide a 24/7 law enforcement presence at the BHUC The Sheriff submitted this request in based on current operational needs and staff resources.”

Guilford County Board of Commissioners Chairman Skip Alston said this week the move makes sense for the county.

“This will allow the sheriff to make the best use of his deputies,” Alston said.

The county will continue to work with partners to review all of its operating procedures at the mental health center now that it is fully operational and now that everyone involved has more knowledge of what to expect.

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