Portland Police Chief Mike Reese says his office is already responding to the findings of U.S. Department of Justice investigation that found his officers have engaged in a pattern of excessive force, especially with people with mental illness. He also says the DOJ report highlights the gaps in the mental health care system and that officers need more information:
There’s a lot of information that health care providers have, that we don’t have access to, and in a moment of crisis I think we should have access to that information if we’re going to provide a better service to that person. Conversely, we have a lot of information we would be happy to share with mental health providers so that they know this person is interacting with police frequently. There are things we can do in terms of dispatch protocols. So when dispatchers take that 911 call from a citizen, and they ask, police, fire or medical, we want them to ask mental health.
We’ll talk with Chief Reese about how the Portland Police Bureau will change in the coming weeks and months.
What would you like to ask Chief Mike Reese?