NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall is pushing for the unexpected. He wants to divert money away from law enforcement agencies, including his own.
Hall said he wants that money to be spent on helping the mentally ill, people such as Larry Brown, a man who has been arrested in Nashville more than 200 times.
Susie Cox is one of Brown's latest victims. She was punched in the face by Brown.
"We're not safe in the midtown area while he's on the streets," said Cox.
A man is no longer facing charges for attacks on several employees at Saint Thomas Midtown hospital.
Brown was deemed incompetent to stand trial. If two doctors determine he's committable, Brown could legally be placed in a hospital. Still, News 4 was told that won't happen because the money isn't there.
"I mean you're going to need to address the fact that he is ill," Hall said.
Larry Brown, a man who has been arrested more than 200 times, was arrested again this week.
Hall said there aren't enough hospitals because in the '60s and '70s they were being torn down and replaced by jails.
"And you're asking jails and prisons to take that population into them and wonder why they're not working. They're not designed to do that," said Hall.
Hall says it leads to a vicious cycle for people like Brown, who get arrested, go to jail, get back out, and offend again.
"You would take a broken arm to the hospital, but if there's something off (in your head) we don't do that. We take them to jail, and then we wonder why it's 200 times, and we wonder why he keeps victimizing people because you're only arresting the person. You're not addressing what the person's issue is," said Hall.
It's why tonight he's pushing for something unpopular among law enforcement.
"The money you're giving jails and police and courts needs to be provided
to hospitals and institutions where people like Larry can go and be deemed incompetent and, ultimately, stay," Hall said.
Hall isn't the only person who thinks the issue needs to be addressed. On Thursday, District Attorney Glenn Funk and other stakeholders are meeting to try and come up with potential short-term and long-term solutions for people such as Brown.