What is CAHOOTS?
CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) is a mobile crisis intervention program staffed by White Bird Clinic personnel using City of Eugene vehicles. This relationship has been in place for nearly 30 years and is well embedded in the community.
CAHOOTS provides support for EPD personnel by taking on many of the social service type calls for service to include crisis counseling. CAHOOTS personnel often provide initial contact and transport for people who are intoxicated, mentally ill, or disoriented, as well as transport for necessary non-emergency medical care.
How does the City support CAHOOTS?
The City funds CAHOOTS through the Eugene Police Department. In Fiscal Year 2018 (July 2017 to June 2018) the contract budget for the CAHOOTS program was approximately $798,000 which funded 31 hours of service per day (this includes overlapping coverage), seven days a week. One van was on duty 24 hours a day and another provided overlap coverage 7 hours per day.
Over the last several years, the City has increased funding to add more hours of service. The Fiscal Year 2020 (July 2019 to June 2020) budget included an additional $281,000 on a one-time basis to add 11 additional hours of coverage to the existing CAHOOTS contract. CAHOOTS was able to add 5 of the 11 hours of service to bridge an afternoon gap to maintain two-van coverage. The City carried over the funding for the 5-hour expansion through Fiscal Year 2021 (July 2020 to June 2021).
Calls for Service
CAHOOTS is dispatched on EPD’s service channel and calls are triaged through the Central Lane Communication Center. Each van is staffed with a medic (nurse or EMT) and an experienced crisis worker.
Over the last six years, the demand for CAHOOTS services has increased significantly:
- 2014: CAHOOTS handled 9,646 calls for service
- 2019: CAHOOTS handled 18,583 calls for service
In 2019, EPD received 105,403 public initiated calls for service and had 31,685 self-initiated calls for service.
CAHOOTS Diverts 5-8% of Calls from Police
If not for CAHOOTS, an officer would be dispatched to handle the situation. Some of the CAHOOTS calls are a joint response, or CAHOOTS is summoned to a police or fire call after it is determined their services are a better match to resolve the situation. However, CAHOOTS remains a primary responder for many calls providing a valuable and needed resource to the community.
- Contract with White Bird Clinic
- CAHOOTS Program Analysis (Aug. 21, 2020)
- Infographic: How Central Lane 911 Processes Calls for Service
- An alternative to police: Mental health team responds to emergencies in Oregon (CBS Evening News, Oct. 23, 2019)
- In Cahoots: How the unlikely pairing of cops and hippies became a national model (Register-Guard, Oct. 20, 2019)
- Salem nonprofits looking at Eugene’s model for mobile crisis response (Salem Reporter, Oct. 11, 2019)
- CAHOOTS Services Would Expand Under Proposed City Of Eugene Budget (KLCC, April 18, 2019)
- Proposed Eugene budget backs CAHOOTS, early literacy, wildfire danger reduction (Register-Guard, April, 17, 2019)
- CAHOOTS: 24-hour service makes a difference (KLCC, Dec. 10, 2018)