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Mayor Wheeler, Governor Kotek and Chair Vega Pederson Declare Coordinated Fentanyl Emergencies

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Mayor Wheeler, Governor Kotek and Chair Vega Pederson hold press conference
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Mayor Wheeler declared a state of emergency to address the fentanyl crisis on January 30, 2024 alongside Governor Tina Kotek and Chair Jessica Vega Pederson. Each declared a 90-day state of emergency to address the public health and public safety crisis driven by fentanyl in Portland’s Central City.

The tri-government fentanyl emergency declarations follow a recommendation put forward by the Portland Central City Task Force, unveiled at the Oregon Business Leadership Summit late last year.

All three emergency orders direct the City, State, and County to commit available resources to the unified response. A command center will be stood up in the central city where state, county and city employees will convene to coordinate strategies and response efforts. 
 
The Command Center will serve to refocus existing resources. It will also share and publicly report data on the impacts of fentanyl in downtown, use data to identify and respond to acute needs and gaps in service, identify any specific resources necessary to address gaps, and establish a system to coordinate that can be sustained beyond the 90-day startup period.
 
The City of Portland will deploy providing public safety, addiction and public health services, crisis response, and other resources and services to those impacted by the fentanyl crisis.
 
Specifically, a combination of disciplines will be coordinated and deployed including peer outreach, and behavioral and public health services to move individuals experiencing a fentanyl addiction into treatment and provide other stabilization services, as well as continued missions between the Portland Police Bureau and Oregon State Police to hold individuals selling the drug accountable.
 
“I am pleased to have Governor Kotek and Chair Vega Pederson join the City of Portland’s ongoing efforts to address the deadly fentanyl crisis impacting our community. Today, we move forward with urgency to address these challenges together under the authority of emergency declarations. This is exactly the type of coordinated action needed to make a direct impact and a lasting difference,” Mayor Wheeler said.