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Planning For a Psychiatric Emergency Room In Portland

Attorney General of Utah

The city wants to create a place for police to bring someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. This is an idea that’s been in the works for a while. It’s part of the city’s settlement with the Department of Justice to address a pattern of excessive force among officers, particularly against people with mental illness.

Multnomah County’s Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center that opened in 2011 was supposed to provide a resource for police dealing with someone in mental health crisis, but it hasn’t been used that way. Currently, police are more likely to bring someone to an emergency room.

Behavioral health specialists from Legacy Health and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) say they would like to see a psychiatric emergency facility modeled after the John George Psychiatric Hospital in California’s Alameda County. The city of Portland points to a possible location for a facility like that at the former Holladay Park Hospital, which will soon be vacated by the Oregon State Hospital.


  • Mike Marshman: Captain in the Portland Police Bureau and Department of Justice (DOJ) compliance coordinator for the Portland Police Bureau
  • Jason Renaud: Volunteer spokesperson for the Mental Health Association of Portland
  • Chris Farentinos:  Director of behavioral health services at Legacy Health
emergency room emergency services mental health police

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