A Matter Of Opinion

Portland mayor fires police chief

Why? Probably for the way the department handled an in-custody death of a mentally ill man. That saga lasted 3 1/2 years. Sounds familiar. It didn't help that the chief criticized some budget cuts.

So there's that intersection of mental illness and criminal justice again.

Jason Renaud, co-founder of the Mental Health Association of Portland, said police in Portland are following a national trend.

"Cops are social workers," Renaud said. "They manage people with mental illness and addiction problems every day. They don't bring down bank robbers and murderers every day."

Speaking of cuts, Mayor Verner has proposed 44 job cuts for City Hall. Eighteen of them are police officers.


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Gary Crooks
Associate Editor Gary Crooks writes opinion columns and editorials; edits letters and other copy for the Opinion pages.

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