Distressed Mt. Scott-Arleta woman safely aided in rapid police response

See how our cool-reacting East Precinct cops calmed a potentially dangerous situation …

Looking south from SE Holgate Blvd., it’s clear to see that many officers are responding to a “disturbance call” on SE 61st Avenue.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Because they’re called to respond when public safety is in jeopardy, members of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) are frequently in the news these days, answering calls incited by individuals, and groups like “Occupy Portland”.

But, seldom reported are the commonplace – but still potentially-dangerous – situations to which officers respond on a daily basis. Such an incident unfolded on November 3, about 5:30 p.m. in the Mt. Scott-Arleta area.

PPB East Precinct Commander Mike Lee was one of the many officers and command staff who responded to SE 61st Avenue, a couple of blocks south of SE Holgate Boulevard.

An ambulance arrives and gets ready to accept the patient after surrendering to police.

“Officers responded to disturbance call, with reports of a woman having a behavioral health crisis,” Lee told East Portland News.

Officers first on the scene encountered a woman on the front porch of the home holding a garden implement, obviously in mental crisis, Lee added. She appeared to have blood on her head.

“We didn’t know what might have been going on inside the house at the time,” Lee continued.

The sergeant on duty called for cover, and a large contingent of officers and command staff came into the area. A neighbor watching the situation unfold commented to an officer that they believed that there could have been guns in the house – which may account for the substantial public safety response.

With the situation deescalated, this officer returns to his car, carrying his bean-bag gun.

Medical personnel make sure the patient is safely transported for appropriate medical care.

After a brief standoff, the woman came out and was taken into medical custody, and then to a hospital for evaluation.

“It was a rapidly-unfolding situation,” Lee said, “but all of our people did a good job. We responded appropriately and safely. The outcome was a good one; the person got the help she needed. And everyone went home safely.”

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Captain Mark Kruger, Commander Mike Lee and Lt. Larry Graham say they’re happy another potential dangerous situation has come to a good conclusion – for everyone.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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