Shuttling patients burdens deputies –

As a Wake County sheriff’s deputy, Dave Descourouez spends an awful lot of time on the road – in other counties. So do his colleagues.

“Oh, I’ve been to Ahoskie, and Rocky Mount, and Hickory, and Jacksonville,” said Descourouez, who estimates he’s taken 150 trips since joining the department six years ago. On these jaunts, he’s not investigating crimes or transporting criminals.

He and his colleagues are carrying psychiatric patients from Wake County to mental health facilities with open beds. And the cost – in man-hours and, ultimately, dollars – of that duty for Wake and other sheriff’s departments across the state is staggering.

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