News

The Mental Health Alliance opposed the lifting of the conditional status of amendments to the settlement agreement of US DOJ v. City of Portland in a June 6 status conference in the court of Judge Michael Simon. The parties to the case and the other amicus, the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform and the Portland Police Association, endorsed ending the conditional status, which would change language in the settlement agreement about community oversight, and instead follow Mayor Ted Wheeler’s plan for Portland’s Committee on Community-Engaged Policing (PCCEP).

The MHA successfully argued the PCCEP had been largely unsuccessful in reaching basic organizational goals and had yet to produce substantial work product, so as of June 2019 there is insufficient evidence to conclude the PCCEP structure works or does not work.

In addition to the June 6 meeting, the MHA participated in a “parties discussion” on June 5 with attorneys and representatives from the City of Portland, the US DOJ, the Portland Police Association, the Portland Police Bureau, the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform.

Here is the Agenda for the June 6 status conference (PDF).

Here is the Brief to the Court from the Mental Health Alliance presented by MHA attorney Juan Chavez (PDF).

Here is the testimony of Jason Renaud, a member of the MHA (PDF).

Judge wants some proof that Portland’s new community approach to police oversight is effective
Oregonian, June 6, 2019

How has new community approach in police settlement worked? Judge gets status report
Oregonian, June 5 2019


Welcome to the Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance as a member of the Mental Health Alliance.


The request by the Mental Health Alliance to make the meetings of the Portland Police Bureau’s Behavioral Health Unit Advisory Committee open to the public was denied on February 26, 2019 by Tracy Reeves, attorney for the City of Portland. Reeves, instead of asserting Oregon Public Meeting Law, advised the BHUAC they could decide for themselves whether to follow Oregon law or keep the meeting closed.

See – Letter from Reeves denying the request of the Mental Health Alliance (PDF)

UPDATE – as of June 7, 2019 meetings of the Portland Police Bureau’s Behavioral Health Unit Advisory Committee remains closed to the public.


Our work supporting people with lived experience of mental illness on Portland’s Committee for Community Engaged Policing (PCCEP) began in October 2018. In January 2019 the PCCEP created the Subcommittee for People with Mental Illness. Below are the organizing documents for the subcommittee.

See – Description – Subcommittee for People with Mental Illness (PDF)
See – Subcommittee Application (PDF)
See – Member Roster – Subcommittee for People with Mental Illness Roster (PDF)
See – Meeting Schedule Spring 2019 – Subcommittee for People with Mental Illness (PDF)
See – Online Resources for Subcommittee Study (PDF)
Join – Subcommittee for People with Mental Illness Facebook Page


The Mental Health Alliance sent a letter on February 14, 2019 to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler asking that the Behavioral Health Unity Advisory Committee to comply with Oregon Public Meetings Law.

See – Letter from the Mental Health Alliance to Ted Wheeler (PDF)


The Mental Health Alliance submitted testimony to Federal Court and Judge Michael Simon on February 12 in reference to US DOJ v. City of Portland clarifying the qualities expected in a psychiatric service described as a “drop off” or “walk in.” The letter was drafted by Jeffrey Eisen, Medical Director of Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare and Derald Walker, CEO of Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, with input from senior managers of Health Share Oregon and the Multnomah County Mental Health and Addiction Services Division.

See – Testimony on qualities of “drop off” or “walk in” facilities. (PDF)


The Mental Health Alliance released its position on body worn cameras on January 23, 2019.

See – Position on Body Worn Cameras (PDF)

Regardless of the input of the Mental Health Alliance and other community and partner organizations to the Portland Police Bureau, the City of Portland will purchase body worn cameras.

See – Portland Police Bureau Body Worn Camera Pilot Program


Portland police union, feds object to Mental Health Alliance’s push for stronger input on reform settlement – Oregonian, September 24, 2018

A lawyer for the Portland police union and federal attorneys are urging a judge to reject the Mental Health Alliance’s request to have a seat at the table in the court’s review of the city’s four-year-old settlement with federal Justice officials on police reforms.

Anil Karia, representing the Portland Police Association, called the alliance’s move a “last-ditch attempt to put its own stamp on this case” that comes “five and a half years too late.”


New mental health alliance wants say on police reform settlement – Oregonian, September 11, 2018

A new alliance of mental health advocacy groups wants a seat at the table in the court’s review of the city of Portland’s four-year old settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice stemming from police use of excessive force against people with mental illness.

The alliance was formed in July and is made up of Disability Rights Oregon, the Mental Health Association of Portland and Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare. The groups cite their experience and expertise as direct service providers to people with mental illness.


Mental Health Alliance Wants Input on Portland’s Federally-Mandated Police Reforms – Portland Mercury, September 11, 2018


Petition to Judge Michael Simon from the Mental Health Alliance (PDF)


USEFUL LINKS

Past messages from City of Portland about police reform meetings / issues