Neighbors near the Cedar Ridge psychiatric hospital at NE 50th St. and Air Depot think the OKC City Council is rewarding bad behavior.
Tuesday, the City Council approved the hospital’s request for a permit to operate 36 beds for mentally ill adults. Cedar Ridge, which houses mentally ill kids, has been using the beds to house adults for about 10 years, but says it didn’t learn about the permit issue until late 2013.
“It slipped through the cracks,” said Attorney David Box, who represents Cedar Ridge.
Box says despite changing ownership back in 2007, the permit concern wasn’t discovered until the hospital was planning to expand.
5/22/2014 Related Story: OKC Officials Strike Back At Mental Hospital For Breaking Law
“They tried to get away with it as long as they could,” said Richard Scroggins.
Scroggins lives next to Cedar Ridge and spoke out against the adult bed permit request.
“Mixing kids and adults is a bad idea on the same campus,” Scroggins said.
Many mental health experts and officials spoke on Cedar Ridge’s behalf in front of City Council Tuesday. They stressed the need for adult beds in the metro for the mentally ill.
“Those beds are becoming fewer and fewer,” says OKC Police Chief Bill Citty.
Cedar Ridge hospital is in Ward 7. Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis was the only vote against the adult bed permit.