I believe that Tom Bergin understands the need for a “safe room” to hold mentally ill people who are arrested. That safe room would be a secured place most likely in the jail, where the mentally ill person could be evaluated and treated as well as interrogated.

It would require medical staff and law officers who have comprehensive training to deal with mentally ill folks on the street. If Bergin is elected, I expect he understands this particular need as the ever-growing problem of the mental illness crisis, incarceration, back-on-the-streets cycle will never be resolved if our society continues to ignore it.

As a member of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), I have learned and observed how detrimental it is to incarcerate the mentally ill in the general population of the jail, and the repercussions of withholding treatment. I believe Bergin is interested in looking at this dilemma as a safety issue for the community.

LAUREN HARMS

Astoria

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