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Police response prompted by distressed Mt. Scott-Arleta woman

by: David F. Ashton In this view south from S.E. Holgate Boulevard, it is obvious that many officers responded to an initial “disturbance call” on S.E. 61st Avenue, as did an ambulance.

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.

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, at about 5:30 pm, in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood. The large police presence, and the temporarily-blocked streets, disrupted traffic and cause considerable curiosity in the neighborhood.

PPB East Precinct Commander Mike Lee was one of the many officers and command staff who responded to S.E. 61st Avenue, a couple of blocks south of S.E. Holgate Boulevard. 'Officers responded to disturbance call, with reports of a woman perhaps having a behavioral health crisis,' Lee later told THE BEE.

The officers who were first on the scene encountered a woman on the front porch of the home, holding a garden implement, and obviously in mental crisis. 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 responded to the area. A neighbor, watching the situation unfold, had commented to an officer that there could be guns in the house - accounting for the substantial public safety response.

After a brief standoff, the woman came out to the street, was taken into medical custody, and was 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.'