Portland Police Chief Mike Reese Tuesday morning went on the offensive, defending his officers’ use of force as he presented a report to a downtown public safety group about the increasing number of suicidal calls to police in the city.

“We’re trying to do good in a very broken system,” Reese said, speaking in the Rose Room of City Hall.

Quotes from Derald Walker:

“The problem is with the system that fails to provide the supportive preventive services,” Walker said.

Walker said the best way to approach someone who is suicidal is to take your time, be empathetic and supportive, and help the person solve their problems and recognize there are other options than taking their life. But he said that when someone is suicidal and under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it’s a “highly unpredictable situation.”

Read the Oregonian article

Listen to Kristian Foden-Vencil’s OPB story