Crisis Response Team

Officer holding hands of a community member.
The Mission of the Portland Police Bureau’s Crisis Response Team is to intervene in traumatic situations which impact individuals, families, and the community at large.
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The Crisis Response Team responds to incidents in an effort to enhance community livability and reduce the threat of violence and the fear of crime. This is achieved through crisis counseling, emotional and bereavement support, and improved communication among all groups who are affected by such incidents.

What is the Crisis Response Team (CRT)? 

The Crisis Response Team (CRT) is a group of screened and trained volunteers who provide support to victims of traumatic events, their families and communities following a crisis. Volunteers are on call and activated by authorized law enforcement personnel and/or members of the medical community. There are currently four CRTs:  North/Northeast, Sexual Minorities, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander communities.

When is the CRT called?

CRT responders can be called out for homicide, suicide, accidental deaths, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), fatal traffic accidents, serious assaults, hate or bias crimes, assistance with death notification or as an additional resource upon request of the on-scene officer.  You can initiate a call-out for CRT through BOEC.

Any bureau member, medical examiner or member of the medical community may request direct assistance from the Crisis Response Team.  The CRT can be utilized not only for crisis intervention purposes following a traumatic incident, but also as a preventive measure during special events or holidays and to dispel rumors and tension surrounding a particular incident.

CRT History

In 1993, the citizens of inner North and Northeast Portland communities and the Portland Police Bureau formed a partnership to address the high number of deaths due to gang and drug-related violence and other traumatic incidents. In July 1994 the first Crisis Response Team was established, the North/Northeast Crisis Response Team (NECRT).

Within the first year of operation the NECRT responded to approximately 28 calls, ranging from homicide, suicide, SIDs, and other traumatic incidents. Because of successful efforts of the NECRT, three other CRTs were established: Asian/Pacific Islander CRT in August 1995, Hispanic CRT in February 1996, and Sexual Minorities CRT in June 1996.

The Portland Police Bureau is one of the first police departments in the nation to form partnerships with its culturally diverse communities to provide support to persons affected by a traumatic incident.

The need for CRT volunteers is GREAT

Although traumatic events will continue to occur, it is people such as YOU, who are willing to commit time, energy and resources to our communities that will help reduce the impact of those traumatic events.

How does the CRT screen and train their volunteers?

The Crisis Response Team requires volunteer candidates to complete an extensive application, provide references, and undergo a thorough background check by law enforcement. Successful volunteer applicants typically receive at least 45-50 hours of classroom training.

Are CRT volunteers paid?

No. Crisis Response Team responders volunteer their time and resources to make this program accessible to anyone in the City of Portland. 

Additional Resources

The CRT works in collaboration with many city, county, and community-based organizations: