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What Happened to James Chasse: Mercury secures Crisis Intervention Training for all police officers

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mercury secures Crisis Intervention Training for all police officers

from the Portland Mercury

The Mercury is claiming a MAJOR victory this afternoon: Mayor Tom Potter has agreed to our suggestions, made in last week’s issue, to fork out $585,000 to put his money where his mouth is and pay for crisis intervention training for all Portland’s police officers. Well, $500,000, at least.

The Mayor’s spokesperson, John Doussard, says: “One thing the Chasse incident points out is that increasingly, Portland Police are the first responders in incidents of mental health crisis.”

Officer Paul Ware, who co-ordinates crisis intervention for the cops says:”I didn’t expect this much money, but it seems enough persuasive arguments have been offered to get the ball rolling. I’m pretty pleased with this. It means a huge jump in the amount of CIT training we give our officers.”

“Thanks to the Mercury,” says Mental Health Association secretary Jason Renaud, “the people of Portland discovered that the cost of educating police officers is certainly within the scope of reasonable risk management. I credit you for that.”

“This should work for the majority of police officers,” he continues. “But there is no correlation between education and compassion, and the next step is to remove the bad apples from the Police Bureau.”

The money, if approved at the end of November, will come in two chunks of $250,000, one in this year’s budget bump and one next year, with the aim of training all of Portland’s 845 remaining sworn, untrained officers in crisis intervention within twelve months. Don’t say we never do anything for you, Portland…

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