Wisconsin AG wades into emergency detention issues

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Attorney General Josh Kaul is trying to find ways to handle emergency detentions better, saying police are wasting time driving detainees to the only state hospital that will accept them.

Wisconsin police can lawfully take people who may pose a threat to themselves or others to a state treatment facility for holding.

Officers had taken such people to mental hospitals in Madison or Oshkosh. But in 2014 state health officials stopped accepting emergency detainees in Madison, forcing police to take everyone to Oshkosh.

A state Justice Department survey of police chiefs and sheriffs found that officers average nearly eight hours per incident transporting detainees to Oshkosh.

Kaul is hosting a law enforcement summit Thursday to brainstorm solutions ranging from using contractors to move detainees to placing detainees in out-of-state facilities.