The Smoky Mountain News has posted some statistics on increasing involuntary commitments and the burden it puts on the sheriff’s department in Macon County.

  • Increase in commitments — 127 percent
  • Increase in officers utilized — 423 percent
  • Increase in officer hours — 651 percent

These numbers are only the tip of the iceberg in trying to gauge how much time sheriff’s departments spend humouring the mentally ill. Just today, I took two deputies offline for about an hour each to go look at bones by the river that turned out to belong to deer.