What is the CRT?
The Crisis Response Team (CRT) is a group of screened and trained volunteers who provide support to victims of traumatic events, their families and communities following a crisis. Volunteers are on call and activated by authorized law enforcement personnel and/or members of the medical community. There are four CRTs: North/Northeast, Sexual Minorities, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander communities.
In 1993, the citizens of inner North and Northeast Portland communities and the Portland Police Bureau formed a partnership to address the high number of deaths due to gang and drug-related violence and other traumatic incidents. In July 1994 the first Crisis Response Team was established, the North/Northeast Crisis Response Team (NECRT). Within the first year of operation the NECRT responded to approximately 28 calls, ranging from homicide, suicide, SIDs, and other traumatic incidents. Because of successful efforts of the NECRT, three other CRTs were established: Asian/Pacific Islander CRT in August 1995, Hispanic CRT in February 1996, and Sexual Minorities CRT in June 1996.
The Portland Police Bureau is one of the first police departments in the nation to form partnerships with its culturally diverse communities to provide support to persons affected by a traumatic incident.
When is the CRT called?
Any bureau member, medical examiner or member of the medical community may request direct assistance from the Crisis Response Team. The CRT can be utilized not only for crisis intervention purposes following a traumatic incident, but also as a preventive measure during special events or holidays and to dispel rumors and tension surrounding a particular incident.