Tim McCarthy, the chief of the southwest suburban Orland Park Police Department, said he formed a 12-officer Crisis Intervention Team about a year ago and will add five officers to the team in October.
The closing of the Tinley Park Mental Health Center in 2012 by former Gov. Pat Quinn has led to a spike in emergency calls about people with mental illness, he said. In 2014, his department was involved in 160 involuntary committals of people for mental health treatment, up from only four in 2011.
“That tells me the mental health system is failing,” he said in an interview. “Sheriff Dart is calling on restoring more funding to the state budget to support mental health, and we would totally agree.”