Sheriff: jail standards dictated request for medical clearance on prisoner

Sheriff responds to city’s action on hospital bill

    Sheriff Kevin Mueller said there may be some misunderstanding of state jail standards he has to follow in the city’s recent action on a hospital bill regarding a prisoner brought to the Chase County Jail.
    At a March 6 meeting, Imperial city council members voted against paying a $436 hospital bill on a prisoner arrested late last year by the Imperial Police Department.
    When the man was brought to the jail late Dec. 24, 2016 on a disturbing the peace charge, the dispatchers on duty requested Police Officer Daniel Morales get a medical clearance from the hospital before they would book him into jail.
    The officer complied, took him to the hospital and received the clearance, returning the prisoner to the jail shortly after 12 midnight. He was booked into jail at 1 a.m.
    The officer was told twice that night the hospital charge would be the city’s responsibility, Sheriff Mueller said, initially by the dispatcher when the arrestee was first brought to jail and again after he returned with the prisoner after the medical clearance was given.
    Upon the officer’s return with the prisoner, Mueller said Deputy Duncan Einspahr was also present.
    “For him (prisoner) to be housed in this facility, he needs medical clearance if the dispatcher on duty deems that necessary,” Mueller said this week.
    In the Nebraska Jail Standards’ pre-admission process section, Mueller pointed out the following:
    “If the arrestee has a serious injury, illness or medical condition, the booking officer shall:
    “Refuse to accept custody and direct the arresting officer to seek emergency medical attention and clearance for the arrestee.”

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