GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)-- Cuts to federal funding have law enforcement in Brown County scrambling to find a place for people to sober up.
The Brown County Community Treatment center has long served as a drunk tank for local law enforcement but, starting December 19 they will no longer be able to do that.
If they continued to only accept people for detox they would lose federal funding that helps them run.
The issue has left police with a big problem.
The treatment center takes in about two intoxicated people a day, people who police cannot arrest and don't need medical attention but need to sober up.
"They are no longer going to accept people for alcohol detox only, and therein lies our problem," said Captain Bill Galvin with the Green Bay Police Department.
Last year Green Bay Police had to bring in about 300 people and since 2010 they've had 848 alcohol committals to the center.
Captain Galvin said lot of those committals are repeat offenders.
"25 people account for 35 of those alcohol committals," said Cpt. Galvin.
Without the center police are left with little options in how to deal with these people. One option is taking them to the hospital where they would be monitored by staff while sobering up.
"Representatives from the hospital were not happy, their discussion was they may have to add staff, they may have to increase cost, and we can't afford to have officers sit there and babysit these individuals," said Galvin.
The county also has a diversion center in a private building contracted by Brown County Health and Human Services. The problem is the center only has two bedrooms and they can't hold incapacitated people in custody there.
"We don't have any legal right to hold them, but, now we have these individuals wandering around our community still somewhat intoxicated and possible causing problems, so now it's going to be a bigger burden on our police department," said Cpt. Galvin, "we have a lot of concerns about this, but we don't have a lot of time to deal with it before it takes effect."
Galvin said they have formed a sub-committee to figure out what to do in the future and they are currently talking to the city attorney to further discuss their options.
Brown county health services could not talk local five on camera about the issue but said are still looking at all their options. They also said they would never turn down a person who was a suicide risk.