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For those who think the police go in shooting when mental illness strikes, here's how it's done in Portland

DAVID F. ASHTON - Portland Police, including an ECIT officer (at far right, identified by the red sash) develop a plan to communicate with a man, known to them, armed with knives and holed up in a house in Foster-Powell. With pleasant spring weather emerging, people were out walking their dogs, and a little league game was underway a little after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3rd, in the Foster-Powell neighborhood.

Neighbors saw a man with a knife walking along Southeast 65th Avenue from Powell Boulevard. As he passed S.E. Rhone Street, some called the 9-1-1 Center. Central Precinct officers responded at 6:21 p.m. and found him there.

As THE BEE responded, there was no sign of a commotion at that location — other than two PPB motorcycles, with lights flashing, left deserted in the intersection. "All the action is down at 65th and Center Street," a neighbor said, pointing south.

As many as 12 PPB units, including the Focused Intervention Team squad, gathered at this "Threat-with Weapon" call, and eventually closed off that intersection.

Officers loud hailed, by name, the person of interest. "We can see you inside the doorway. Put down the knife, and walk out the front or back of the house. No one wants to hurt you ..."

This series of loud-hails disrupted the baseball game underway in the corner of Kern Park, two blocks to the East. The standoff continued until after the sun set.

PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen filled THE BEE in on the rest of the story. "A restraining order violation suspect was armed with multiple knives. There was a protracted negotiation with him, because he refused to drop the weapons.

"ECIT [Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team] officers were called to the incident, and utilized their specialized communication skills to try to obtain his cooperation. However, he went into the house and refused to come out," Sgt. Allen continued.

"Because it became clear that there was no resolution that would not put the suspect, the community, and the officers, in danger and dramatically increase the likelihood of a need for a significant use of force, the incident commander elected to disengage, with a plan to resolve at a later time," concluded Sgt. Allen.

The man remained in the house and has not further endangered the community. Because he was not arrested or charged with a crime at this time, his name is being withheld by request of the Portland Police Bureau.


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