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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

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

850.21 Peace Officer Custody (Civil)

850.21 Peace Officer Custody (Civil)

1st Universal Review: 11/15/17-12/15/17

Refer:

  • ORS § 426.005, Definitions for ORS § 426.005 to 426.390
  • DIR 850.20 Police Response to Mental Health Crisis
  • DIR 850.22 Police Response to Mental Health Director’s Holds and Elopement
  • DIR 850.25 Police Response to Mental Health Facilities
  • DIR 630.45 Emergency Medical Custody Transports
  • DIR 630.50 Emergency Medical Aid

Definitions:  

  • Mental Health Crisis: An incident in which someone with an actual or perceived mental illness experiences intense feelings of personal distress (e.g. anxiety, depression, anger, fear, panic, hopelessness), a thought disorder (e.g. visual or auditory  hallucinations, delusions, sensory impairment or cognitive impairment), obvious changes in functioning (e.g. neglect of personal hygiene) and/or catastrophic life events (e.g. disruptions in personal relationships, support systems or living arrangements; loss of autonomy or parental rights; victimization or natural disasters), which may, but not necessarily, result in an upward trajectory of intensity culminating in thoughts or acts that are dangerous to self and/or others. 
  • Peace Officer Custody: An exercise of civil authority when there is probable cause to believe a person is dangerous to self or to any other person and is in need of immediate care, custody, or treatment for mental illness. ORS § 426.005 (1) (e); ORS § 426.228. 

Policy:

  1. In the context of mental health crisis, the Portland Police Bureau recognizes the importance of civil rights and the need for individuals to have control over their person. However, the Police Bureau also recognizes there are times when, as a result of mental health crisis, a person may lack the capacity to make sound judgments about their personal situation.  After considering the alternatives outlined in 850.20, and after finding probable cause exists for a hold, members shall take the individual into custody on a Peace Officer Hold.  Members shall treat the individual with dignity and compassion at all times.  
  2. Members shall be guided by law regarding civil custody of persons in mental health crisis with the goal of assessing the need for custody. If the need arises, the act of custody shall be resolved in a safe, constructive, and humane manner as possible.
  3. A member’s ability to manage custody by this expectation is of critical importance to the involved person, the involved person’s support system, community members, mental health providers, and the Police Bureau.

Procedure:

1. Peace Officer Custody:

1.1.   Members may take a person into peace officer custody if the member has probable cause to believe the person is dangerous to self or to any other person and is in need of immediate care, custody or treatment for mental illness. 

1.2.   Before taking a person into peace officer custody for a mental health evaluation, members shall:

1.2.1.    Develop and communicate a tactical plan to participating members, so as to take advantage of the most effective options that may safely resolve the incident. Tactics members should consider in devising a tactical plan include, but are not limited to, the following (“ROADMAP” is a mnemonic device that assists members in remembering tactics taught in training):

1.2.1.1.            R – Request specialized units,

1.2.1.1.1.      Evaluate the need for assistance from individuals with additional training in working with mental health crisis situations (e.g. Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team (ECIT) members, Project Respond, Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT)). When needed, assistance may be requested through the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC).

1.2.1.1.2.      Evaluate the need for possible consultation with a mental health provider (Refer to the Behavioral Health Unit’s Community Mental Health Resources Guide), and/or anyone else the member deems appropriate.

1.2.1.2.            O - Observe or use Surveillance to monitor subject or situation,

1.2.1.3.            A – Area Containment (perimeter, containment),

1.2.1.4.            D – Disengage with a plan to resolve later,

1.2.1.4.1.      Disengagement is a tactic to be considered to reduce undue safety risk to the member, the involved persons, or others. Members will consult with a supervisor to determine whether to make contact at a different time or under different circumstances. The tactic requires members to complete a general offense report and notify the Multnomah County Call Center of the situation (e.g. name, date of birth, disposition).

1.2.1.5.            M – More Resources/Summon Reinforcements,

1.2.1.6.            A – Arrest Delayed (get a warrant, or try different time/place),

1.2.1.7.            P – Patience.  Use time and communication to attempt to de-escalate the subject.

1.2.2.    Transport or facilitate the transport of the individual to the appropriate secure evaluation facility or nearest designated hospital emergency department that conducts mental health evaluations. Refer to Directives 630.45 Emergency Medical Custody Transports and 630.50 Emergency Medical Aid for additional information.

1.3.   Juveniles may be taken into civil custody for a mental health evaluation under the same legal standard as adults. Members will notify the juvenile's legal guardian or the Department of Human Services prior to transport to a secure evaluation facility or nearest designated hospital emergency department that conducts mental health evaluations. 

2. Member Responsibilities:

2.1.   When a member takes a person into custody under the member’s peace officer authority, the member will complete a Report of Peace Officer Custody of an Allegedly Mentally Ill Person (this is Form MHD [ORS § 426.228] of the Mental Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority).  Members shall provide the report to AMR or, in those extraordinary circumstances when the officer provides transport, the treating physician at the hospital or Unity Center. 

2.2.   When a member takes a person into custody under the direction of the Community Mental Health Program Director or designee, the member shall provide the custody report of the Community Mental Health Program Director or designee to AMR or, in those extraordinary circumstances when the officer provides transport, the treating physician at the hospital or Unity Center. 

2.3.   The member will submit a copy of the Report of Peace Officer Custody of an Allegedly Mentally Ill Person, along with an original police report about the incident, to their supervisor before the end of shift. 

3. Supervisor Responsibilities:

3.1.   Supervisors will ensure their members follow the reporting requirements for peace officer custody. 

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