Suspect in Kennewick Dumpster Fire Not Facing Charges - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Suspect in Kennewick Dumpster Fire Not Facing Charges

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KENNEWICK, WA - Kennewick police have decided not to charge the woman *they believe is responsible for starting three dumpster fires earlier this week. 

Kennewick police say the woman was  homeless and suffering from mental health issues and they felt she would be better served getting mental health treatment rather than spending time in jail. 

So they connected her with the experts at Lourdes Counseling Center. 

In the past year months roughly 20 people-- people like the woman responsible for Wednesday's dumpster fires-- have avoided being charged in return for getting treatment through the Lourdes Counseling Center's Transitions program. 

"If an officer has contact with an individual in the community who has committed a low level crime and they believe the person is suffering from a mental health condition and would be better served in a behavioral health setting, they have the option," said Outpatient Manager Gordon Cable. 

Cable says he feels the program is an overwhelming success, but that it wouldn't be possible without the strong relationships between the center and law enforcement. 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental illness, you can contact Lourdes Counseling Center at http://www.yourlourdes.com/counseling-center/ or call (509) 943-9104.

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