March 25th, 2010 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, Cops and Courts

City Hall: Fritz and Saltzman to Push New Recommendations For Police Dealing With Mentally Ill

One-man protest at City Hall
Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Dan Saltzman will present a new report, possibly as soon as April 7, outlining proposed changes to Portland Police Bureau policy on responding to incidents with mentally ill Portlanders.

The work of drafting the recommendations, which will include a pilot program for pairing cops with social workers on service calls that involve people in mental-health crisis, predates Monday's fatal police shooting of Jack Dale Collins, who had cut himself repeatedly before Officer Jason Walters fired four shots.

Instead, the work dates back to December, after Officer Christopher Humphreys shot a non-lethal beanbag round at a mentally ill 12-year-old girl Nov. 14 and anger about the incident produced political problems for Saltzman on several fronts.

Council will hear more about the recommendations next month, about six weeks before Saltzman faces re-election in the May 18 primary.

But yesterday Saltzman indicated one recommendation -- asking cops to ride in tandem with social workers to certain calls -- isn't really a suggestion. It's a mandate, even though the Police Bureau is in the tough position of having to cut its budget. "This isn't going to be contingent on a budget ask," Saltzman says. "We're going to do it."

Photo above of a one-man protest outside City Hall on Wednesday.
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