Portland Police Bureau: policy changes prompted by Chasse’s death

This list of policy changes, a timeline of events, and a press release was distributed to the media on September 23 2009 in lieu of a direct response to the request by the Mental Health Association of Portland for release of the internal investigation of what happened to James Chasse, made on September 17 2009.

The death of James Chasse prompted several policy changes and additions to officers’ training:

CIT Training Bureau wide Training all uniform officers and supervisors in crisis intervention techniques.

As of December 2008, all officers and sergeants (except one officer on medical leave) in the Operations Branch were trained in CIT. This included 540 Bureau members, 70 Multnomah County deputies and 20 Gresham officers.

Advanced Academy CIT Training
Introduce CIT training, include scenario based training and reinforce person encounter doctrine. Began in January 2009 and is ongoing.

In-Service: Foot Pursuits
Provide a refresher course in foot pursuits with emphasis on outlining factors that should be considered at the onset of the pursuit, including severity of the crime, applicable statutes and policies, one’s own knowledge of the subject including physical descriptors and the immediate environment. Taught in 2008 Officer In-service.

Emergency Medical Transport Directive
A complete overhaul of the policy and procedures surrounding the evaluation and transport of prisoners who are possibly injured or suffering from a possible medical condition. Emergency Medical Custody Transport Directive (630.45) adopted July 27 2007, and amended March 11, 2009. Roll call videos explained these changes in great detail.

Bureau Mental Health Professional
The recruitment and hiring of a mental health professional whose responsibilities include the development and implementation of “best practice” procedures in connection with officers’ contact with mentally fragile individuals. Hired Liesbeth Gerritsen, Ph.D. on May 30, 2007. Acts as liaison for the Bureau to mental health groups, attends the Bureau’s CIT Advisory Committee meetings, works with individuals with mental health issues as well as families who need assistance. Continues to work closely with Project Respond. Works closely with the Hostage Negotiation Team and responds to all callouts.

Improved communication and intervention with chronic situations
Improvement in the Bureau’s communication with mental health professionals and action toward people with mental health issues who use police services frequently. The Bureau’s Mental Health professional, Liesbeth Gerritsen, works closely with mental health providers. She also works with Neighborhood Response Team officers and jail personnel to refer people who suffer from mental illness and frequently call police to Project Respond’s Intensive Engagement Team for intervention. This team partners with officers to respond to individuals and work toward connecting them with appropriate services.

Foot Pursuit Data
Track data related to foot pursuits. Committee was formed and recommendations were implemented that added foot pursuits data tracking to current system of tracking vehicle pursuits. A Training Bulletin has been written and computer programmers have added the new forms to the Field Reporting System for officers. It will be rolled out shortly in conjunction with a roll call video.

Foot Pursuits Roll Call Video
The development of a roll call video that reiterates the threat assessment doctrine taught at 2008 in-service. The video will also train officers on how to use the new data tracking system. Scheduled date: November 2009.

Sudden Death and Excited Delirium Conference
Send Bureau members to receive additional training on Sudden Death and Excited Delirium. Bureau members attended conference. Two videos regarding this subject were presented in roll calls in July 2007 and July 2009

READ – The death of James Chasse prompted several policy changes and additions to officers’ training:, September 23 2009