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POL Government Elected Officials Auditor Griffin-Valade Divisions IPR Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Table of Contents (Printable Version)

 What is IPR?
 How long has IPR been around?
 What is the CRC?
 What does the CRC do?
 How many complaints does IPR recieve in a year?
 Can I file a complaint about a non PPB officer?
 Can I file a complaint if I witness police misconduct
 Is IPR part of the Police Bureau?
 How do I file an appeal?
 IPR CRC Appeal Request Form
 How do I file a commendation?
 What happens after I file a commendation?
 How do I file a complaint?
 How do I send the IPR a comment or question that is not a complaint?
 What happens after I file a complaint?
 What happens if my complaint is referred to Internal Affairs for an investigation?
 What happens after the PPB investigation is complete?
 What happens if the complaint is sustained?
 What happens if a complaint is not sustained?
 Complaint Categories


What is IPR?

The Independent Police Review Division (IPR), a branch of the City Auditor's office is an independent, civilian oversight agency tasked by Portland City Council to investigate and monitor allegations of misconduct by sworn members of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). IPR serves as Portland's intake point for community complaints about PPB officers.


How long has IPR been around?

IPR was created in 2001, replacing the Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee(PIIAC).


What is the CRC?

The Citizen Review Committee (CRC) is a nine-member organization that is an advisory board to IPR.


What does the CRC do?

CRC’s main responsibilities are to hear appeals, gather community concerns and forward them to both IPR and PPB, advise IPR on its operations, and to recommend policy changes.


How many complaints does IPR recieve in a year?

In 2012, IPR recieved 413 complaints.


Can I file a complaint about a non PPB officer?

No. IPR is only authorized to recieve complaints about the conduct of sworn Portland Police Bureau members. When IPR does recieve a complaint involving a non PPB officer we do forward the information to the appropriate agency.


Can I file a complaint if I witness police misconduct

Yes, IPR accepts complaints from eyewitnesses to incidents of police misconduct.


Is IPR part of the Police Bureau?

No.  IPR is a division of the City Auditor’s Office. The IPR Director reports directly to the City Auditor. In Portland, the City Auditor is an independently elected official.  The current Auditor is LaVonne Griffin-Valade


How do I file an appeal?
Citizens and police officers may request an appeal to the Citizen Review Committee after a full investigation of the complaint is completed and the findings determined.      
 
To request an appeal, eligible complainants or officers must fill out a Request for Appeal Form, and fax, mail or deliver it to IPR.  The request must be received within 30 days of the notice advising the citizen or officer of their right to appeal.
 
 

IPR CRC Appeal Request Form

Download (PDF Document, 56kb)
How do I file a commendation?

To file a commendation or compliment regarding a Portland Police Bureau employee you can fill out the IPR's electronic commendation form or mail a completed complaint/commendation form. You can also file a commendation by visiting any police precinct or calling the Portland Police Chief's office at 503-823-0000.

 
 

What happens after I file a commendation?
When a commendation is received, it will be forwarded to the Chief's office. A copy of your comments will then be sent to the officer(s) and his/her supervisor.

How do I file a complaint?
To file a complaint against a Portland Police Bureau officer you can fill out an electronic complaint form, call the IPR at 503-823-0146, mail in a completed Citizen Complaint/Commendation form, or visit the IPR's office. 
 
 
 
To file a complaint in person, please visit the IPR office at the following address:
 
Independent Police Review Division
City Hall

1221 SW 4th Ave., Room 140
Portland, Oregon 97204

How do I send the IPR a comment or question that is not a complaint?
The IPR would like to hear from citizens who have questions about the complaint process, or who would like to offer comments about either the IPR or the Portland Police Bureau. You can do this by either calling the IPR at 503-823-0146, visiting the IPR office, or by filling out the IPR's electronic question/comment form below. If you ask a question using the electronic form, an IPR staff member will try to respond within seven days.
 
 

What happens after I file a complaint?

After a community member files a complaint, the IPR will assign the case to a complaint investigator for an initial investigation. The investigator will interview the complainant(s),all available civilian witnesses, gather police reports, dispatch records, and video or audio recordings of the incident. The IPR Director will then choose to have the complaint handled in one of the ways listed below:

  • PPB Referral: The case can be referred to the Police Bureau Internal Affairs for their review and handling.
  • Dismissal: The complaint can be dismissed if falls under on of the dismissal criteria in IPR's case handling guidelines. The case will then be closed and the complainant will receive a letter explaining why the case was dismissed.
  • Mediation: In certain cases, with the approval of both the complainant and the police officer, the case can be mediated. IPR will arrange for an outside mediator to meet with you and the officer with the intent to clear up any misunderstandings by discussing the incident in an informal and non-confrontational setting.
  • Referral: Certain cases may be referred to other City Bureaus if they can more appropriately deal with the complaint. For example, if there is evidence of criminal conduct, the IPR Director can refer the case to the PPB or the District Attorney's Office for a criminal investigation. If the complaint involves a non-PPB officer, then the complaint will be referred to the appropriate police department.
  • Independent Investigation: IPR is authorized under City Code to conduct independent investigations into allegations of police misconduct.

What happens if my complaint is referred to Internal Affairs for an investigation?

If the IPR Director refers the complaint to Internal Affairs (IA), where they will conduct their own investigation. IPR is tasked by City Code to review and approve every IA investigations and finding by the involved officers commanding officer. Additionally, IPR will be responsible for communicating with the person who filed the complaint and keeping them informed about the status of their case.


What happens after the PPB investigation is complete?
After the investigation is complete, a report on the investigation will be forwarded to a PPB commanding officer, PPB managers, and the IPR for review. They will review the evidence and issue a finding on the complaint. There are two general findings:
 
NOT SUSTAINED: The finding will not be sustained if it is found that:
  • The allegation(s) is false;
  • The actions of the police officer were within the guidelines of Police Bureau policy;
  • There is not enough evidence to prove or disprove the allegation(s);
  • The allegation(s) are of a minor rule violation that would not result in discipline, even if proven true.
SUSTAINED: The finding will be sustained if:
  • The officer was found to have been in violation of Police Bureau policy or procedure.

What happens if the complaint is sustained?
If the complaint is sustained, the IPR will notify the person who filed the complaint of the finding. PPB managers will recommend discipline actions to the Chief of Police. The Mayor may also review serious discipline actions, such as termination or suspension.
An officer against whom a complaint is sustained will have an opportunity to appeal the finding with the IPR.

What happens if a complaint is not sustained?
 
After a full investigation is completed and findings are determined, the person who filed the complaint and the officer who was the subject of the complaint will receive a letter explaining the decision.  Either a community member (when an allegations is not sustained) or an officer (when an allegation is sustained) has the right to request an appeal to the Citizen Review Committee (CRC).  If no appeal is filed within 30 days, the case will be closed.
 
If a request for appeal is received, a Case File Review will be set to determine whether any additional investigation is need before before the appeal. Every appellant has the ability to request the assitance of an Appeal Process Advisor(APA) to help them with the appeal process. Outside volunteer groups, such as the National Lawyer's Guild are also available to provde assistance to community members.
 
 

Complaint Categories
Complaints into the following six types:
 
Force: An allegation that an officer used excessive or inappropriate physical or deadly physical force.
 
Control Techniques: An allegation that a "control technique" was used unreasonably or improperly. This would include control holds, hobble, "take downs," and handcuffing.
 
Conduct: An allegation that tends to bring reproach or discredit upon the Police Bureau or City of Portland. It involves behavior by a Bureau member that is unprofessional, unjustified, beyond the scope of their authority, or unsatisfactory work performance.
 
Disparate Treatment: Allegations of specific actions or statements that indicate inappropriate treatment of an individual that is different from the treatment of another because of race, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, economic status, political views, religious beliefs, or disability.
 
Courtesy: Allegations relating to rude or discourteous conduct, other than disparate treatment.
 
Procedure: Allegations that an administrative or procedural requirement was not met. This would normally include the failure of a police officer to follow general policies and procedures that relate to identification, report writing, notebook entries, and property/evidence handling.
 
 

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