Community Service Patrol calls for service

by Delta Discovery Staff

Empty beer cans and plastic booze bottles litter a homeless campfire area near the Bethel riverfront along with other kinds of trash, marring the beauty of the peaceful trail area. The people who left the litter do not care to clean it up.

Non-residents outnumber residents in two of the three reporting quarters for the Community Service Patrol (CSP) calls for service in Bethel, according to a report from the City of Bethel that outlines CSP statistics.

From July 1, 2018 to September 30, 2018, 211 people were picked up by CSP officers. Of the 211 (106 males, 105 females), 126 were non-residents and 85 were from Bethel. The majority, 198, were transported to the Sobering Center and the remaining 13 were taken to the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center (YKCC).

From October 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, there were 305 pickups. 201 of those were non-residents, and 104 were from Bethel. Of the 305, 156 were male and 149 were female. 48 were transported to YKCC, 256 to the Sobering Center, and one was taken to the YK hospital emergency room.

For the third quarter starting from January 1, 2019 to March 31, 2019, there were 322 calls for service. Of the 322, 158 were non-residents and 164 were from Bethel. There was a total of 203 males and 119 females. 251 were taken to the Sobering Center, 61 to YKCC, and 10 to private residences.

In the whole reporting period, not one person was Able To Care For Self.

According to the City report, three CSP officers work 12 hour shifts to respond to calls for service, assess the physical conditions of individuals, and transport those individuals who are intoxicated or on drugs and deliver them to one of four places – YKCC, the Sobering Center, a private residence, or if they are Able To Care For Self. Each CSP records the delivery.

The City of Bethel council approved Action Memorandum 19-29 to direct administration to prepare and submit the FY 2020 Community Service Patrol Grant application in the amount of $323,081 and contribute $32,308 of dispatch services as in-kind match.

The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Division of Behavioral Health, intends to continue funding the Bethel CSP and Sobering Center Program for an additional grant year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020).

The City must provide a 10% match or $32,308.

The goal of the CSP Program is to save lives through proper care, transportation, and placement of individuals who cannot care for themselves due to alcohol intoxication, states AM 19-29.

In FY 2018, the Bethel CSPs picked up 1,777 people who needed help due to their level of intoxication.

The City plans to spend nearly the entire grant on salaries, benefits, and overtime pay for three CSP officers. The Bethel Police Department will purchase apparel, outdoor gear, medical supplies, gasoline, and pay for CSP cell phones from grant funds, according to AM 19-29.

AM 19-29 was brought forth by Acting City Manager Bill Howell during the May 14th, 2019 regular city council meeting. It was approved unanimously by the full council.

The proposed budget for the CSP program for FY2020 is up by $37,481 from last year.