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The City of Portland, Oregon

Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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What should I do when I encounter aggressive people in public?

I'm officer Jason Jones with the Portland Police Bureau. Community members often ask me what should they do if they find themselves interacting with someone in crisis or who is behaving aggressively. What I tell them is the same advice I give my friends and family - that every situation is different.

It could be someone experiencing mental illness, someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or somebody who is just upset and having a bad day. So consider calling for help. That might be the police (9-1-1) or the Crisis Line (503-988-4888) and look for opportunities to leave and create a safe
distance from that person. Always remember safety in numbers so don't be alone.

Communities in Portland pride themselves in their level of participation and involvement, so if you find yourself interacting with a person in crisis or someone who is behaving aggressively ask yourself "will my involvement make things better or worse" and "how are they reacting to my behavior" in my interaction with them. If it seems to be getting worse think about definitely calling the police or for professional help in creating that safe space and looking for opportunities to leave the situation.

I hope this has been helpful and I hope that you continue to be safe in Portland and be involved in your community.