“Municipalities across the country look to PSR and it’s imperative that the program is fully supported.”
PORTLAND, OR — Local elected officials representing nearly a dozen localities across the country have joined the chorus of Portlanders calling for renewed support for the Portland Street Response program. In a letter addressed to the Portland City Council, the electeds – who represent a range of cities, including Austin, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and Rochester – shared the importance of the program nationally and recalled their immersive learning visit with PSR last October:
“What we learned was impressive. The workers at PSR are highly trained first responders, providing compassionate, effective aid to people in need. They improve community safety, and offer an alternative to an armed police response that is not appropriate for every 911 call.”
The group also noted the ways in which PSR’s success has allowed them to create and advance community responder programs in their own cities. For example, PSR was among the existing programs that helped support the creation of Chicago’s Treatment Not Trauma initiative – which will create a network of professionals to respond to mental health emergencies without armed police. In July, Portland Police Bureau Deputy Chief Mike Frome even spoke at a Chicago City Council committee hearing on the issue sharing about the value of programs like PSR.
As national polling continues to show strong support for community responder models, it is imperative that local governments across the country push for and invest in these community-led strategies.
“People across the country are rooting for the success of Portland Street Response. We hope the City of Portland will continue to champion PSR as a national model for an effective unarmed crisis response.”