NYT: PPB approach on mentally ill a nationwide model

PPB changed following a 2012 Justice Department investigation

A Portland Police Bureau precinct in downtown Portland. (KOIN 6 File)
A Portland Police Bureau precinct in downtown Portland. (KOIN 6 File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After a 2012 Justice Department investigation, the Portland Police Bureau changed the way officers handle people with mental illness.

Though challenges remain, the effort is paying off — and others are noticing.

A New York Times article by Erica Goode posted Monday said the ways Portland police now deal with the mentally ill.

The following are excerpts from the New York Times article:

“At a time when police behavior is under intense scrutiny — a series of fatal shootings by police officers have focused national attention on issues of race and mental illness — Portland’s approach has served as a model for other law enforcement agencies around the country.”

The issue of how police around the country deal with the mentally ill has been the focus of intense scrutiny and studies.

“…The findings of studies have been mixed, although one study to be published later this year suggests that Portland’s program, which is based on (Crisis Intervention Team), is having an effect. …”

“In a draft report released earlier this month, outside monitors concluded that the Police Bureau in Portland still had more to do, including keeping better track of how many police contacts involved mental health issues.

“But the bureau, the monitors said, had made “substantial progress” in improving the way they dealt with the mentally ill.”

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