Oregon Poll: Replace Police With Trained First Responders
Story by Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza & Sean McElwee - Story Source
|Oregon's Police||Trained First Responders|
CAHOOTS has been so successful, the Oregon legislature is on the verge of taking the program state-wide. The relevant bill, which will come through the House Committee on Behavioral Health, had a public hearing on February 24, 2021.
A recent poll by The Appeal and Data for Progress found that a staggering 81 percent of Oregon voters support funding any city or county in Oregon willing to adopt the CAHOOTS model. Just 16 percent of respondents opposed such initiatives—a gap of 65 points. The support is both strong and transpartisan, with 89 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of independents, and 68 percent of Republicans supporting the CAHOOTS model.
And it's not just Oregon. CAHOOTS has inspired national momentum behind similar life-saving emergency response programs. A pilot program modeled after CAHOOTS launched recently in San Francisco, with others planned in Oakland and Portland, Oregon, and hundreds more requests for program details from communities nationwide.
There's also federal interest in creating new methods of responding to public health and safety emergencies. In late February, eight senators, including Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, introduced a bill to help states create CAHOOTS-type programs to dispatch mobile crisis response teams when people are experiencing mental-health or substance-use crises, instead of immediately sending law enforcement.