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Save Portland Street Response

Portland Street Response (PSR) is an unarmed 911 response option that supports community members experiencing mental and behavioral health crises.


Since its pilot launch in February of 2021, PSR's model has been proven — through independent evaluations performed by Portland State University's Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative — to successfully achieve its valuable program goals.


Outcome Goals (expand for detail)

Outcome 1: Reduce the number of calls traditionally responded to by police where no crime is being committed

  • The PSR call load represented a 4% reduction in total calls that police would have traditionally responded to in the PSR service area and hours of operation.

  • Applying this figure out citywide, we estimate that PSR could have responded to at least 15,000 calls if the program had been operating citywide and 24/7 during the pilot period, with potential impact even greater with expanded call criteria.

Outcome 2: Reduce the number of behavioral health and non-emergency calls traditionally responded to by police and fire

Outcome 3: Reduce the number of medically non-life threatening 911 calls that are transported to the emergency department

  • PSR was able to resolve the vast majority of its calls in the field, with only 29 clients (3.2% of all calls) transported to the hospital for additional care.



AND YET the Public Safety Service Area requested budget, for fiscal year 2024-2025 proposes a budget of just $4 million for Portland Street Response next fiscal year, when program expenses for the current fiscal year are noted in the same report to be over $13 million?


 

Additionally, the Portland Police Bureau continues to remain out of compliance with a 2014 Department of Justice settlement agreement that is a direct result of their unconstitutional use of force against individuals experiencing mental illness.


AND YET, Portland Street Response is solely funded through the budget of Portland Fire & Rescue.


At a Portland Committee for Community Engaged Policing Town Hall on March 27th regarding Portland Street Response, a representative from the mayor's office, in response to my commentary on the proposed budget, stated this number is just the beginning of the conversation, and the proposed budget "is not a foregone conclusion." I would argue, however ...

$4 million dollars is terrible even for a starting point.

On Monday April 15th I testified to Portland City Council at a Budget Listening Session on the importance of properly investing in Portland Street Response:



 

Friends of Portland Street Response, an organization created to advocate for the City of Portland's full investment in this successful program advocates for:


  • Fully fund and fully staff Portland Street Response

  • Supporting PSR with the resources needed to be successful

  • Protecting PSR’s independence

  • Determining a path forward for PSR as a co-equal branch of our first responder network



 
It's time to rethink how we invest in public safety.

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