Sheriff meets with Biden on gun violence

Published 8:59am Friday, December 21, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — Hennepin County Sheriff Rick Stanek said he raised the issue of untreated mental illness in a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on curbing gun violence.

Stanek was among law enforcement leaders and Cabinet officials who met with Biden at the White House Thursday. President Barack Obama tapped Biden to lead an informal task force on gun violence in the aftermath of the Connecticut schoolhouse massacre.

After the meeting, Stanek said there’s a “strong correlation” between mental illness and recent mass shootings that cannot be ignored.

Stanek also said jails are becoming de facto treatment centers for the mentally ill “because there’s no place else to put them.”

Stanek is president of the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, composed of sheriffs from large counties across the U.S.