June 3rd, 2016
“After careful consideration, I have come to the point of endorsing Sheriff Steve Loftis. Recently Sheriff Loftis has personally taken on the roll of overseeing the CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Training Initiative and will be fully committed to the NAMI supplied training. Despite a rocky start to our relationship many years ago, we have begun to work together at necessary and achievable goals within the mental health arena and law enforcement. I am honored to be involved with training his Deputies.” – Paton Blough, Rehinge.com Founder and NAMI SC Board Member
In 2008 during one of Paton’s manic episodes, he was picked up on a nuisance charge. After being confined to a jail cell for several days with no medication. In a state of psychosis and needing medical treatment, Paton verbally threatened Sheriff Loftis (who was not present at the time). As a result of a deputy reporting the threat, Paton later served three years of probation and possesses a felony charge of “threatening the life of a public official”. This unfortunate incident is a glimpse of what propelled Paton to push for mental health change within our law enforcement.
Fast forward 8 years and multiple meetings with Sheriff Loftis, including attending the same church, they have forged a strengthened relationship. Paton is strategically involved with the CIT training for Sheriff Loftis’ officers for over 4 years.
Today, Paton has decided to endorse Sheriff Loftis due to his continued efforts and promise to implement officer training for identifying and deescalating mentally ill individuals. Paton foresees Sheriff Loftis being a positive force on continued and improved mental health reform in our Greenville community.