1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
The mission of the Behavioral Health Unit is to coordinate the response of Law Enforcement and the Behavioral Health System to aid people in behavioral crisis resulting from known or suspected mental illness and or drug and alcohol addiction.
The BHU is located within Central Precinct oversees the four tiers of police response to individuals with mental illness or in behavioral crisis:
As primary responders to crisis calls, all Portland Police Bureau officers receive basic Crisis Intervention Training as well as annual CIT refresher training.
In addition, the Bureau has volunteer officers from a variety of patrol assignments on the Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team (ECIT). These officers will be the first responders dispatched by 9-1-1 to crisis calls that are determined to be related to an individual with mental illness. ECIT officers receive additional training in order to; identify risks during a behavioral crisis, utilize crisis communication techniques to help deescalate a person in crisis, and have knowledge of available community resources.
The Behavioral Health Response Teams (BHRT) pairs a patrol officer and a licensed mental health professional from Cascadia Project Respond. The Portland Police Bureau has three BHRT cars. The officers and mental health professionals work proactively with individuals who have a mental illness are identified as having multiple or high risk contacts with police. The BHRT cars work to connect individuals to appropriate community resources in order to reduce their frequency of contact with police. Referrals to the BHRT cars are made through patrol officers.
The Service Coordination Team (SCT) is a program that offers treatment to the City of Portland’s most frequent drug and property crime offenders to address their drug and alcohol addictions, mental health treatment, and criminality. This program has successfully graduation over one hundred former drug offenders from its treatment program, reducing recidivism among program graduates by 91%.
For further information on the Behavioral Health Unit, please contact (503) 823-0817.
Contact information and reference materials.
Behavioral Health Unit Newsletter
A look at a typical day for the Police Bureau's Behavioral Response Team (formerly Mobile Crisis Unit)
On average, someone will die by suicide every four days in Portland. In recent years, suicides were more frequent during the summer.