Survey of Portland voters shows stunning support for non-police first responders to street crises

Street Roots commissioned a survey with McKelvey Consulting to assess the public perceptions around crises response in the Portland metro area. More than 400 random registered Portland voters consented to the survey via a text-enabled phone number. The survey was conducted March 9 and 10, with a 67% response rate. Of the respondents, more than 10% identified as a person of color. Respondents were asked a series of questions on their preferences between police and non-police responses, and who were best equipped to respond to situations of crisis.

Here are some questions and responses, which show an overwhelming support for programs like Portland Street Response:

87% think non-police 1st responders are better trained to deal with street crises
86.4% think non-police 1st responders are better trained to deal with a wellness check
80.4% do NOT think Portland Police are the best equipped to deal with people having a mental health crisis
61.1% do NOT think Portland Police have a positive impact on homelessness in their neighborhood

The city launched the Portland Street Response program on February 16. It is in a pilot phase, limited to the Lents neighborhood. We want to see the pilot completed, and the program expanded.