Furlong and Banister to address mental health and crime | NevadaAppeal.com

Furlong and Banister to address mental health and crime

Ronni Hannaman

Do mental health and crime go together? According to Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong and Juvenile Services Chief Ali Banister, they very much do.

There have been eight school shootings nationwide in 2018 and we are only two months into the year. School shootings are so reprehensible they get all the media coverage, yet every day, there are shootings caused by mentally ill individuals forever causing havoc and changing innocent lives

Carson City experienced a mass shooting tragedy on September 6, 2011 when a 32-year-old man entered our IHOP, killing four and wounding seven. Though law enforcement handled the situation expertly, we all were taken aback that this tragedy could happen in our city.

The school district and most recently the Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada have fortified schools and the Club to protect our children, but sometimes even the most fortified schools cannot daunt a mentally ill individual bent on killing innocents. Law enforcement cannot foresee when disturbed individuals decide to use knives or guns to forever silence those around them.

Mental health issues are receiving more attention and is an issue that is of utmost concern. The Center for Public Justice studies now show that more and more youth in “juvie” suffer from mental health or substance abuse issues, citing, “Nearly three out of four youth in juvenile court detention centers in the United States suffer from mental health or substance abuse issues. Among the group, 20 percent suffer severe mental health problems, which limit their ability to function in daily life.”

The Carson City Chamber has invited Sheriff Furlong and Chief Banister to address this topical issue at the monthly Soup’s On! luncheon meeting — open to the public — held at the Gold Dust West on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 11:30 a.m. Cost is $16 per person for lunch. RSVP by noon Monday, Feb. 26.