PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland’s mayor comes out with a big expansion plan for Portland Street Response to handle mental health calls.  

Mayor Ted Wheeler cites the results of a Portland State University study, which found that Portland Street Response, demonstrated success during its first year as a pilot program.

“An unarmed trained specialist is proven to be the best practice,” said Wheeler.

Now he wants to include a major expansion in his budget proposal due next week.  Portland Street Response would increase its crisis response teams from the current 6 to 16.   The program would operate 24-7 by fall for emergency calls involving behavioral and mental health, but not violence. 

Wheeler praised Portland City Commissioner Joann Hardesty for her leadership in launching Portland Street Response.

More about: