People's Police Report
A SHORT GLOSSARY - PORTLAND COPWATCH
Ever wonder what all these things are we're talking about in our
newsletter and on the website?
Here are some (we hope) helpful definitions:
- Portland Police Bureau (PPB):
The City of Portland's police department, because of our Commission form
of government, is called a "Bureau" and is headed by a City Council
member delegated to be the Commissioner of Police (usually the Mayor).
- Independent Police Review (IPR):
Administrative body in the Auditor's office consisting of twelve
full- and part-time staff set up to do all intake of
citizen complaints alleging police misconduct. Given limited
"Independent" power when established in 2001, in 2014 the IPR gained
added authority to conduct its own investigations, but not the power to
compel officer testimony.
In 2017, the word "Division" was dropped from IPR's name.
- Citizen Review Committee (CRC):
Panel of eleven volunteers set up of the IPR
to review closed cases of alleged police misconduct, hear appeals of
Bureau findings, and make policy recommendations for the PPB. Members
have to pass a background check and sign a confidentiality
- Police Review Board (PRB):
A body internal to the PPB, which (a) for cases considering discipline
when an officer is found out of policy includes an Assistant Chief, the
officer's commander, a peer officer, an IPR director, and a community
member, and (b) for cases considering deadly or excessive force
allegations includes those five members plus an additional peer officer
and one member of the CRC on a rotating basis. PRB reports are required
to be published twice a year.
- Directives (Police Directives-formerly "General Orders"):
The local administrative rules the police use as guidelines for
doing their duty.
- Internal Affairs [Division] (IA):
Unit within the PPB that investigates alleged police misconduct.
Staffed by PPB detectives, though most are retired homicide detectives
and at least one (as of 2015) came from another jurisdiction. Most of
the time a community member files a complaint that receives a full
investigation, it will be conducted by IA rather than IPR.
- DOJ (Settlement) Agreement:
In 2012, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) found a pattern or practice
by the PPB of excessive force, particularly against people in mental
health crisis. To avoid being taken to trial, the City of Portland
signed a Settlement Agreement pledging reforms. For various reasons, the
Agreement was not entered in the court record until August, 2014.
- Human Rights Commission (HRC):
A 20-member group created in 2009 to "help eliminate discrimination and
bigotry, to strengthen inter-group relationships and foster greater
understanding, inclusion and justice for those who live, work, study,
worship, travel and play in the City of Portland. The HRC is guided by
the principles embodied in the United Nations Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. "
- Community / Police Relations Committee (CPRC):
Part of the HRC, this group had 15 members-- five Human Rights
Commissioners, five "at large" community members, and five police
officers, all of whom have a vote. By City Ordinance, the CPRC is
supposed to look at Racial Profiling and traffic stop data.
Note: CPRC stopped meeting in early 2016, even though it is listed
in the DOJ Agreement as having responsibilities around profiling.
- Compliance Officer/Community Liaison (COCL):
The person (/team) hired to oversee implementation of the DOJ Agreement.
In 2014, Dr. Dennis Rosenbaum of Chicago was hired for this job, with
former Oregon Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz acting as a local
representative. After Justice DeMuniz quit, Kathleen Saadat was hired, but
also quit. Some local employees work in city offices for the COCL.
- Community Oversight Advisory Board (COAB):
A twenty-member body created to oversee the work of the COCL and the
implementation of the DOJ Agreement. Five are non-voting police
officers. Five community members were chosen by City Council, five by
the HRC and Portland Commission on Disabilities (PCoD), and five by a
panel of stakeholder groups.
Note: COAB was disbanded by City Council's lack of action to replace
members who resigned on Jan. 31, 2017. As of March 2018, its promised
successor, the PCCEP (see next entry) has not been established.
- Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing (PCCEP):
Created by City Code in August 2017, this Committee to replace the COAB can
have as many as 11 members. It is charged with looking at the
implementation of the Agreement, racial justice, and the Bureau's Directives.
As of March 2018, it has not been established.
- Training Advisory Council (TAC):
This group was created in late 2012 as the DOJ Agreement was being
negotiated. It has about 30 members, and is supposed to make
recommendations to the Bureau's Training Division. Members have to pass
a background check and sign a confidentiality agreement.
- Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA) Coalition for Justice
and Police Reform:
An organization which came together in 2003 after the death of Kendra
James, revived again in 2009/2010 around two incidents including the
death of Aaron Campbell, the AMA Coalition has a seat at the table as
"enhanced amicus curiae (friend of the court)" in the DOJ Settlement
Agreement process. Portland Copwatch has a member on the Coalition
- Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (MCSO):
The elected Sheriff of Multnomah County runs the jails, river patrols, and
other deputies who work in nearby incorporated and unincorporated areas.
The MCSO is one of a number of agencies who work under the PPB as
part of the Transit Police.
- Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF):
An FBI-led group made up of a number of federal and local agencies which
has a mission to investigate possible terrorist activity. The
Portland Police were part of the JTTF from some time in the late 1990s until
2005, then they were pulled out because the Mayor did not have the same
security clearance as the officers. Portland rejoined part-time in 2011
and then authorized two full-time officers to participate in 2015.
- Portland City Council:
Five elected officials including the Mayor who run the various Bureaus
of the City, and deliberate on local laws (ordinances) and policies.
The Mayor assigns which Bureaus go to which commissioner, and most
of the time acts as Police Commissioner.'
- Portland City Auditor:
The sixth elected official in Portland, who audits the various Bureaus
and city finances, but also houses the IPR and CRC. The Auditor
recommends the members to be appointed to CRC and the Police Review Board.
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