Portland Or. police trying ‘step back’ approach dealing with the mentally ill.

Portland Police trying "step back" approach

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT – “Portland police twice walked away from confronting a mentally-ill man who had alarmed neighbors . . . The go-slow, deliberative response marked a dramatic change in Portland police practice as the bureau strives to figure out how best to respond to calls involving people in mental health crisis.” 

I’ve expressed concern a number of times of the way police handle confrontations with the mentally ill in our society. Too often such encounters end bad. This includes a homeless lesbian woman who was killed by the police in NYC a few days ago. I reported on it here: http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/homeless-mentally-ill-lesbian-holding-knife-shot-by-police-in-front-of-nyc-womens-shelter/

“It is a big shift. This concept of maybe walking away has not been a typical response for law enforcement” — Portland Police Central Precinct Cmdr. Robert Day.

It’s about time something new is tried, even though it goes against conventional thinking (and police training).

Full story:  Portland police using new ‘step back’ training to deal with people in mental health crisis | OregonLive.com.



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