Crow Wing County is using a private security firm to transport people to detox until a new facility is available in Brainerd.
Community Services Director Beth Wilms said both she and Sheriff Todd Dahl have been in contact with Northern Pines, the new detox provider, which is looking at several sites for purchase and remodeling.
County commissioners were previously told Northern Pines would be ready to provide detox services in January. The county has been without a detox facility since its previous provider at the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center on Highway 18 in east Brainerd closed June 1.
Between June 1 and Sept. 30, the county paid $6,239.24 to Midwest Security to transport people to other detox facilities on an as-needed basis. Midwest Securities is part of General Security Services Corp.
Wilms said to this point the county has been able to locate a placement in all detox cases. From law enforcement incident reports in the area, officers also have worked to find family or friends to take intoxicated people or have given them a ride home. Individuals who are intoxicated and arrested use detox services at the jail.
But individuals who are not breaking the law or considered a danger to themselves or others are not typically taken into custody. Arrangements for detox “placements are facilitated through the county sheriff’s dispatch center at the request of the primary deputy or officer on site,” Wilms reported.
The county learned in May the Dakota County Receiving Center, longtime provider of detox services here, was unable to find a new site that matched its needs. Dakota County Receiving Center had a good working relationship with the county since 1999 but reported it couldn’t find an alternative location after the BRHSC site was no longer available. The news came as a surprise to county officials who then sought new providers.
The county is required to offer detox services with licensing and strict medical criteria is required, including 24-hour access to a doctor and nurse. Crow Wing County paid a flat $302 a day for the detox service with Dakota County Receiving Center. The detox facility at the BRHSC campus served a much larger area — Cass, Morrison, Todd, Wadena, Aitkin and Mille Lacs counties. The other counties paid their own rates.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.