CAHOOTS gains national attention amid calls to defund police

CAHOOTS operates in teams of two, a crisis intervention specialist and a medic, and take to the streets to assist with mental-health crises, intoxication, mediation, and more all without police.

Posted: Jun 10, 2020 7:39 PM
Updated: Jun 11, 2020 2:23 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- CAHOOTS, Crisis Assitance Helping Out On The Streets, a subsidy of White Bird Clinic ia gaining national attention as an alternative to policing.

It's a subsidiary of White Bird Clinic. They operate in teams of two -- a crisis intervention specialist and a medic  -- and take to the streets to assist with mental-health crises, intoxication, mediation, and more all without police. 

However, they will contact police when a situation escalates to a violent place. 

RELATED: ROLE OF OFFICERS IN 4J, BETHEL SCHOOLS CALLED INTO QUESTION

Ebony Morgan, a crisis intervention specialist with CAHOOTS, appeared on CNN this week to share their model with the nation.

"My father died during a police encounter and I am really passionate about alternatives to police response," she told KEZI.

And amid the national attention, she said her focus is here in our community, helping our city's most vulnerable.

Last year CAHOOTS received $2 million from the city and county while responding to 20% of calls for police. The police department received over $60 million.

Kimber Hawes, an outreach manager and crisis intervention specialist at CAHOOTS, said their approach is completely different than the police. 

"Police are trained to perceive stuff as a threat and we are trained the exact opposite," she said.

She said they only work with the support of the community and of course more funding would go a long way.

"We are kind of as strong as what the public safety sector will let us do," she said.

CAHOOTS is not a one-size-fits-all alternative to policing, but the framework is catching the eye of our community and our country.

"I would like to continue to encourage people to articulate what they're after and use the momentum of this time to push for equity and growth in our community because it's just a fact that there's room for it," said Morgan.

An online petition that calls for 30% of the Eugene Police Department's funding to go to CAHOOTS has gathered thousands of signatures. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 18817

Reported Deaths: 325
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah440392
Washington278323
Marion261467
Umatilla197724
Clackamas137736
Malheur6639
Deschutes5308
Lane5113
Lincoln3919
Union3882
Jackson3701
Yamhill35011
Jefferson3033
Morrow2961
Polk28612
Linn24410
Klamath1941
Hood River1650
Wasco1583
Benton1546
Douglas1281
Josephine1031
Coos840
Clatsop780
Columbia780
Crook431
Lake320
Baker300
Tillamook240
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman130
Harney80
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 60°
Corvallis
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Roseburg
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
North Bend
Overcast
62° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 62°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events