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Independent Police Review Division: Analysis and BackgroundPortland's "Independent" Police Review Division (IPR), created in 2001 as a professionally staffed office in the City Auditor's office to handle complaints about police misconduct, has theoretically had the power to conduct its own investigations since its inception. However, any full investigation done as a result of a complaint to IPR is handed over to the Portland Police Bureau's Internal Affairs division (generally less than 15% of all complaints). Since this perpetuates a system in which police continue to investigate other police, Portland Copwatch frequently puts the term "Independent" in quotes.
Affiliated with IPR is an 11-member volunteer Citizen Review Committee, which holds hearings on appeals of misconduct cases, produces reports recommending improvements to Bureau and IPR policies, and holds public forums.
Analysis of IPR Annual Reports* 5/19 IPR 2018 Annual Report Ignores Force and Police Review Board
(10 pages, 5/23/19)
* 7/18 IPR 2017 Annual Report Drops Force Data
(10 pages, 7/5/18)
* 5/17 IPR 2016 Annual Report Incomplete, Inaccurate
(13+ pages, 5/26/17)
* IPR 2015 Annual Report Barely Scratches the Surface
(8 pages, 7/27/16)
* IPR 2014 Annual Report Reads Like a Summary
(10 pages, 11/16/15)
* IPR 2013 Annual Report More Details Expose System Failure
(10 pages, 10/31/14)
* IPR 2012 Annual Report Draws Attention Away from Shortcomings of System
(7 pages, 5/31/13)
* IPR 2011 Annual Report Shares Little Analysis, Uses New Statistics but Old Examples
(5 pages, 7/30/12)
* IPR 2010 Annual Report : Some Improvement, Leaves Much to Be Desired
(7 pages, 6/7/11)
IPR 2009 Annual Report Fails to Highlight Major Issues
(7 pages, 6/25/10)
IPR 2007 Annual Report Continues Using Misleading Statistics
(7 pages, 10/10/08, posted 1/1/09)
Third Annual Report (2004) shows system still needs work
(8 pages, 8/3/05)
Second Annual Report (2003) continues to ignore community concerns
(2 pages, 8/31/04)
First Annual Report (2002) shows shortcomings in the structure
(9 pages, 6/19/03)
Analysis of other IPR Reports and the IPR's structure
August-November 2016: City To End Public Input at Accountability Hearings
Read Portland Copwatch's comments
to City Council and the Auditor condemning the process and content
of their first proposal to gut the Citizen Review Committee (CRC) of its public hearings.
Subsequently the City proposed to keep hearings public but cut out public comment.
PCW was invited to sit on a Stakeholder Committee to consider fixes.
Previously, the community waited for nearly 2 years to strenghten the
NOTE: In April 2017, City Council over-rode the Auditor's proposal and inserted into City Code the public's ability to comment prior to CRC voting, a victory for the people.
followed days later by the City Auditor's own 45-page document
responding to over 150 recommendations for changes to Bureau Policy
and the "Independent" Police Review Division (IPR).
Depsite the community waiting for nearly 2 years to strenghten the IPR's
Citizen Review Committee (CRC), Council voted in only 4 significant changes
to the ordinance on December 14, 2011, one of which weakened the CRC.
Read Portland Copwatch's eight-page analysis of
the review board proposals (.pdf only- November 9, 2011)
evaluating changes to the Independent Police Review Division (IPR) made in March, 2010.
Read the Stakeholders Report (9/10)
the Auditor's Response and Chief's Response
Read Portland Copwatch's analysis of the "Standard of Review" for the
Citizen Review Committee (4/8/11-.pdf)
• Download the January, 2008 report from the IPR's website,
• read our full analysis (2/12/08), watch the companion video.
Tort Claim report, which calls for lawsuits to be handled
like complaints (9/20/04)
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The Police Review Board was initially created in 2004, but formalized in 2010. It hears cases in which officers use deadly force or face potential discipline for misconduct. It consists of 3 Portland Police, the Director of IPR (or a designee), and one civilian member from a pool of 20. Deadly force and excessive force cases add one more PPB member and a member of the CRC.
The PRB puts out reports twice a year. PCW has analyzed a number of these reports.
Background on the IPR
proposing a strong police review board (Oct. 30, 2000)
On This Page
IPR Annual Reports
Other IPR Reports/Structure
Police Review Board
Background on the IPR
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.
Posted June 22, 2011, last updated October 18, 2019