Mayor Tom Potter is asking the City Council to allocate $250,000 to begin immediately providing Portland Police Bureau patrol officers with 40 hours of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training.
The training will help officers deal with people suffering from a mental illness. Mental health advocates have called for increased CIT training for all officers in the aftermath of the death of James Chasse.
“Increasingly, our public safety officers are the first responders for people on the street with mental health issues,” said Mayor Potter. “Any additional training we can provide them is worth the investment for our community.”
The money would come from a pool of more than $18 million in unanticipated revenues that has resulted from Portland's improving economy. The Council will vote on how to allocate those funds on November 29th.
The $250,000 is expected to cover the training of about 180 officers through the end of this fiscal year. Mayor Potter will ask for another $250,000 in the 2007-2008 budget to provide CIT training to all sworn officers.
Currently, there are 155 Portland CIT-certified officers; of those, 103 officers are on the streets assigned to the bureau's five precincts.