After a 14-month investigation of the Portland Police Bureau, the U.S. Department of Justice has revealed its findings on how the Bureau interacts with the mentally ill. U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall says, while most instances of use of force are justified, the police does engage in a pattern of excessive force; especially with people suffering from mental illness or are in a mental health crisis.
The city and the Justice Department have worked together to form a preliminary plan to address the problem, which includes expanded use of the Bureau's Mobile Crisis Unit and expanding officers' access by to mental health experts around-the-clock. The city has until October 12th to file a final plan in court.
The Mayor and Police Chief say they will continue to reach out to the community to fine-tune the plan.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Tom Perez says the PPB's problems are similar to those experienced by police departments nationwide, and years of underfunding of mental health services and insufficient training of officers are primary causes of the problem.