Adams invents the internet
I see the City of Portland has met in person with the family of Keaton Otis:
Parents of a troubled Portland man shot by police met with Mayor Sam Adams and his new police chief, Mike Reese.So now it's "his" project? Last summer, it was the county's project, when the county paid out close to a million dollars in the Chasse lawsuit:
Adams says the the group agreed that more should be done to help the city's mentally ill.
Even before this recent shooting, Mayor Adams had placed a "mental health triage center" in his final budget.
He says the triage center would serve as an information and referral hub for police and those families trying to find help for someone suffering from mental illness. Adams says the center would also help ill citizens in crisis avoid conflict with police....
For Keaton Otis -- and others who may have fallen through the cracks -- Adams says it's important police not become their first and only contact in times of crisis. He wants his proposed mental health triage center to serve families in crisis at least until federal universal health care kicks in within three to four years.
The 16-bed crisis center in Northeast Portland -- to be funded with county, city, state and federal dollars -- will take those suffering a mental health crisis such as suicidal or violent thoughts, hallucinations and severe anxiety.I wonder how many police killings will be papered over with the prospect of this center, and how many politicians will claim it as their own, before it finally opens.
"The fact that Jim Chasse suffered from schizophrenia and was acting in a manner hostile to the police called out for the need," Wheeler said. "A community of this size should have appropriate services."
The center will provide for up to 10 days of assessment and treatment, monitor medication and come up with a plan for patients once they leave the center, said Joanne Fuller, director of the county Department of Human Services.
That the Mean Girls allowed the last such facility to close in 2003 is nothing short of criminal. The blood really seems to be on their hands.
But would the triage center have helped Otis? It's not clear that it would have. Look at what was said when the county settled the Chasse case:
Still, [Terri Walker, board president of the National Alliance on Mental Health Multnomah,] said the new center doesn't go far enough. In the end, it's still for people in crisis, she said, but doesn't address the needs of people who are on the verge of crisis and find it hard to get help in Multnomah County.Chillingly similar to what Otis's parents said last week:
"I hear from family members whose loved ones can't get help until they have to be a danger to themselves or others," she said. "People are told they have to be naked standing on top of a bridge before you can get help. As long as we think like that in this county, people are going to be in danger."
We want to bring light to the limited options and restrictive laws preventing families from intervening earlier. In the future we want to expand the law’s definition of harm to self or others for a civil commitment to include additional significant symptoms.It's going to take a lot more than a triage center to put an end to the tragic stories in Portland, I'm afraid. But at least if the police beat a guy to within an inch of his life, they'll take him there rather than to jail. Maybe he'll survive.