Medford police deal with mental illnesses downtown

, Posted: Mon, January 27 2014 at 6:12 PM, Updated: Mon, January 27 2014 at 6:39 PM

Medford, Ore. -- Dozens of police officers from across the state are in Central Point this week discussing how to deal with Oregonian's who have mental health issues.

It's something police say they deal with on a daily basis.

The Medford Police Department says they have to deal with those issues with caution.

One example was a recent occurance on Grape Street.

Businesses say a woman parked her SUV on the street last Wednesday and set up camp. Trash began piling up underneath.

"She was looking for a jump, gas, and we tried to help as much as we could until she started harassing us," said CT Wallace, a local business owner.

The woman became so upset, she kicked the glass door at the Whiskey Room.

Police say she also stole from a number of downtown businesses.

"She's had a lot of police contact, in fact she's been arrested multiple times in the last month. And she also has some mental illness we are trying to deal with," said Mike Budreau, of the Medford Police Department. 

"There does come a point, however, where the law is the law.. and we got to do what we got to do."

Police issued a citation on Friday, and were planning on towing the vehicle Monday.

But police say the woman drove off and hit a pedestrian.

The person's okay and the woman is in police custody.

Police have not said whether or not they'll cite the woman but say a big issue is state money for treatment.

Sometimes people with mental health issues end up in jail, when they really need treatment.

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