October 17th, 2012 10:01 am | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: Cops and Courts, PDX News, PDX Votes

Portland Police to Reinstate Mental Health Team

Portland Police Badge
As the city continues its negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice, Police Chief Mike Reese announced today the city will reinstate a Crisis Intervention Team to deal with Portland's mentally ill.

The changes follow last month's damning report finding that the Portland Police Bureau has a "pattern and practice" of using excessive force against those in mental health crisis. Portland must give a response to a number of the DOJ's recommendations; those are due to be released on Monday.

In a release, Reese says that all officers will continue to be trained in crisis intervention, but a specialized team of patrol officers will be created and available to go out on mental health related calls.

The move is a partial return to Portland's old style of dealing with the mentally ill. In 2007, under former Chief Rosie Sizer, the department dropped its volunteer-based Crisis Intervention Team in favor of giving all officers 40 hours of training on the subject.

Three policies were also altered in response to the DOJ report: application of force, Tasers, and deadly physical force. The department posted those changes online, and is hoping for public feedback by Nov. 2.

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