1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
The mission of the Behavioral Health Unit is to coordinate the response of Law Enforcement and the Behavioral Health System to aid people in behavioral crisis resulting from known or suspected mental illness and or drug and alcohol addiction.
The BHU is a part of the Community Services Division, which is under the umbrella of the Chief’s Office and oversees the four tiers of police response to individuals with mental illness or in behavioral crisis:
As primary responders to crisis calls, all Portland Police Bureau officers receive basic Crisis Intervention Training as well as annual CIT refresher training.
In addition, the Bureau has volunteer officers from a variety of patrol assignments on the Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team (ECIT). These officers will be the first responders dispatched by 9-1-1 to crisis calls that are determined to be related to an individual with mental illness. ECIT officers receive additional training in order to; identify risks during a behavioral crisis, utilize crisis communication techniques to help deescalate a person in crisis, and have knowledge of available community resources.
Behavioral Health Response Teams (BHRT) pair a patrol officer and a qualified mental health professional from Cascadia Project Respond. The Portland Police Bureau has five BHRT teams. The officers and mental health professionals work proactively with individuals who have a mental illness and are identified as having multiple or high risk contacts with police. The BHRT cars work to connect individuals to appropriate community resources in order to reduce their frequency of contact with police. Referrals to the BHRT cars are made through patrol officers.
The mission of the Service Coordination Team is to improve public safety, reinforce community livability and increase quality of life by coordinating law enforcement, criminal justice, and resources for individuals who are chronically in and out of the criminal justice system. The SCT Program offers housing, treatment, and robust services to address the underlying root causes of police contact and to help break the entrenched cycle of addiction and criminality.
For further information on the Behavioral Health Unit, please contact (503) 823-0812. Read here for an overview of BHU.
Behavioral Health Unit Newsletter
A look at a typical day for the Police Bureau's Behavioral Response Team (formerly Mobile Crisis Unit)
Contact information and reference materials.
Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team Reports