Randall Brandt remembers the time when a teenager swung a pool cue at him, just missing his nose.
As a psychiatric aide supervisor at the former Dammasch State Hospital, he learned how to handle violent patients. “I just sat there and talked the kid down,” he said.
“We didn’t have the tools that a police officer does,” he said. “We had to deal with it in other ways, so you kind of learn.”
Now a Portland patrol officer, Brandt, 60, uses the skills he picked up several decades ago when he encounters people in need of such help on the streets.
He says the jobs aren’t that different.