Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team officers disarm man through conversation (Photo)

July 07, 2020 13:02


On June 27th, 2020 at 7:12 p.m., Portland Police Bureau Officers responded to the 1300 block of NE Siskiyou St. on the report of a person in mental health crisis holding a rifle, while standing on his porch. The man had previously threatened neighbors and was now talking to himself. Officers arrived and were able to get a view of the man without making their presence known.

Once the man was no longer holding the rifle, Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team (ECIT) Officers approached the man. The officers worked on deescalating the man and letting his voice be heard. After an extended conversation that lasted an hour and a half, the man gave the officers the rifle, an AK-47, and 141 rounds of ammunition. The man decided to voluntarily go to the hospital for treatment.

According to neighbors, the man's mental health had been deteriorating for a while and previous outreach efforts had been unsuccessful. The actions by officers prevented a tragic outcome and they were able to begin the process of helping the man get much needed resources.

Officers spoke with the man's mother and explained the next steps in process, as she was crying with relief. One concerned neighbor explained, "As a Black mother of a mentally ill son," she was "very afraid of what police action would be taken under the circumstances. Instead, we, the concerned neighbors, saw police action at its very best."

"This incident highlights the very dangerous and complicated calls our officers respond to regularly. It also highlights the mission our officers carry out to preserve life and maintain human rights. This call could have had a very different outcome. The training we provide our officers in crisis intervention enabled these officers to navigate a situation that involved race, mental health, and a rifle. I commend their work," said Chief Lovell.



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