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December 20, 2005

 
Minutes
Citizen Review Committee
December 20, 2005
 
Approved January 17, 2006
 
CRC Members Present:  Hank Miggins (Chair), Jerry Spegman (Vice-Chair), Gwenn Baldwin, Michael Bigham, Loren Eriksson, Lewellyn Robison, Robert Ueland
 
CRC Member Absent:  Marcella Red Thunder
 
City Staff Present: Gary Blackmer (City Auditor), Leslie Stevens (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR), Lauri Stewart (IPR), Linly Rees (City Attorney’s Office), Judy Taylor (IPR), Scott Warner (IPR)  
 
Police Bureau Members Present:  Captain John Tellis (IAD), Lieutenant Jay Drum (IAD), Commander Dave Benson (Central Precinct), Lieutenant Dominick Jacobellis (Central Precinct), Sergeant Scott Johnson (IAD), Sergeant Mitch Copp (Portland Police Association)
 
I.                    Chair Miggins called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.
 
II.                 Introductions 
 
III.               Loren Eriksson made a motion to approve the minutes of the 11/15/05 CRC
meeting.  Bob Ueland seconded.  The minutes were unanimously approved.
 
IV.     Hearing: CRC No. 2005-X-0004.  The appellant alleged that a Portland Police
Bureau officer arrested him without cause and took him to Old Town Precinct, where he was later released.
 
The appellant was not present.  Officer A was not present.  Sergeant B was present.
After discussion regarding IPR staff’s attempts to reach the appellant, Bob Ueland made a motion to “lay this hearing on the table.”  Michael Bigham seconded the motion.  After discussion of the motion, Mr. Ueland accepted a friendly amendment “to deny the appeal” (in accordance with Protocol 5.05 - Guidelines for Declinations of CRC Appeals). 
 
The motion to deny the appeal passed by a vote of 4-3. 
 
Yes: Bigham, Miggins, Robison, Ueland
 
No:  Baldwin, Eriksson, Spegman
 
Following the decision to decline the hearing, there was a discussion of policy issues with respect to this appeal.  CRC members expressed concerns about the length of time taken by IAD in conducting the investigation.  Captain Tellis agreed that the investigation took an excessive amount of time.  He said that he could give a number of reasons for what happened, but these do not justify the length of time the investigation took.  He stated that he is new to IAD, having just been appointed there in October, and he and IPR Director Stevens are looking at realistic timelines with regard to the number of complaints that come in and the number of investigators in IAD.  They are looking at a number of ways to make things more timely and efficient given existing resources.  Captain Tellis will be writing Standard Operating Procedures as well, and the IAD front office staff is working on setting up a “tickler file” to send out notices to remind the precincts about cases on which findings are due. 
 
Mr. Ueland asked if the IAD Captain has overall management control of the cases assigned so that he knows their day-to-day status.  Captain Tellis replied that he receives a weekly printout of every case that every investigator has.  Mr. Ueland asked if one of the reasons for the timeliness problem is not having enough investigators.  Captain Tellis affirmed that this is the case.  He said that currently there are only 5½ IAD investigators, and IAD has been charged with a number of additional tasks as well.  He described the problem as “trying to do more with less, and I’m unfortunately spread very thin with my current staff.” 
 
Commander Benson and Lieutenant Jacobellis were asked about how they arrived at the findings on this case.  They acknowledged that, as confusing and problematic as this case was to evaluate, given the inability to find a citation or a report on this incident, the appellant’s allegations simply could not be sustained. 
 
After discussion regarding IAD staffing and timeliness issues, the CRC agreed to send a letter to the Chief expressing concern.  Chair Miggins offered to write the letter on behalf of the CRC, and Ms. Baldwin offered to assist him.    
 
V.        Conference Hearing: CRC No. 2005-X-0003.  (On 9/19/05CRC held a full
hearing on this appeal and recommended changes regarding two of the findings.) 
 
Director Stevens presented the Chief’s response to CRC recommendations.  The Police Bureau agreed to accept CRC’s recommendation to change the finding on allegation #4 (that Detective A inappropriately commented to another detective that the appellant’s niece had killed her boyfriend by injecting him under the fingernail with a needle) to Insufficient Evidence.  The Bureau also agreed to sustain allegation #10 (that Detective A told the appellant, “The next time I see [your ex-boyfriend], I’m just gonna shoot the motherfucker.  I’m just gonna say that he went for something in his pocket, and I’m gonna shoot him dead.”).  However, the Bureau concluded that this allegation should be sustained as a violation of Courtesy Directive 310.40 and in addition that Detective A would be debriefed on his conduct.
 
After discussion and public comment from Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch) and the appellant, Chair Miggins asked for a motion to agree or not agree with the Bureau’s action.  Director Stevens was asked if she would defend the CRC’s decision if they sent the case to Council.  She said yes, but she would give her dissenting opinion if asked.  Mr. Ueland moved to agree with the Chief’s findings.  Lewellyn Robison seconded the motion.  After further discussion, Mr. Ueland restated his motion as “to accept the Chief’s findings.”  The motion passed by a vote of 4-3. 
 
Yes: Bigham, Miggins, Robison, Ueland
 
No:  Baldwin, Eriksson, Spegman
 
[Following the break, Chair Miggins expressed concern about a member of the public disrespecting a CRC member.  Mr. Miggins requested that something be done to preclude that type of activity in this meeting.]  
 
The CRC asked Director Stevens to provide the current status report on IAD investigations to CRC members on a monthly basis. 
 
VI.              Director’s Report
 
  • Outreach:  Director Stevens met with Commissioner Adams, attended the Police Executive Research Forum in San Diego, and attended the annual NACOLE Conference in Miami.  She also served as guest lecturer at a Portland State University criminal justice class.  Lauri Stewart joined officers of Northeast Precinct in a panel presentation for Portland Night High School’s Street Law Activity Night.  Ms. Stewart also provided telephone consultation to the City of Eugene regarding mediation. 

  • Newsletter:  The first quarterly newsletter went out.  Work is starting on the next newsletter, so anyone with suggestions or contributions should get them in at this time.
  • There were no new Police Bureau directives the past month.
  • No new appeals were filed.
  • Chief’s Forum:  Ms. Stewart reported that the Police Bureau conducted an awards ceremony to recognize dedication and efforts of members of the community.  Details about the Chief’s Forum and police advisory committees and a full list of the award recipients are available on the Police Bureau’s website.
  • CRC Recruitment:  Auditor Blackmer announced that, despite the 2005 CRC recruitment efforts being the best ever and the application deadline being extended, only eleven applications were received.  The next step will be to review the applications and then to schedule interviews.  Several CRC members who are not re-applying for a position this year and other community members have offered to be involved in the selection process.
  • Director Stevens introduced Scott Warner, who was selected to succeed Lillian Dote as IPR Management Analyst.
 
VII.            CRC Goals:  Lewellyn Robison reviewed the updated CRC goals worksheet.   She pointed out that there are still a number of tactics that have not yet been addressed.  Ms. Robison suggested that a decision on whether to go forward with the uncompleted tactics be addressed at next year’s retreat or after the new CRC members are on board to see if there is a consensus on working on those tactics.
 
VIII.         Chair Miggins stated that at the last meeting he passed out the list of contacts for the Community Advisory Council (CAC) and a draft letter of introduction, and he asked the CRC members to bring to tonight’s meeting any organizations they want to add or delete.  Mr. Miggins suggested proceeding with this list at this time and adding to it over time as needed.  Mr. Miggins asked the CRC to officially accept what the work group has done so far in order to move ahead with the process.  There was no objection by CRC to signing their names to the introductory letter and making some of the contacts.  Gwenn Baldwin suggested moving the sentence inviting participation in the CAC to a higher point in the letter.    
 
IX.              Work Group Updates
 
Mediation Work Group (Gwenn Baldwin, Chair):  The three work group members are reviewing 45 mediation files each.  The work group met last week to check in on changes and on how the process was going.  One check list correction was the addition of service complaint as an option for IAD disposition.  By January 13 all files will have been reviewed.  The next check-in meeting is scheduled for February 8 at 2:30 p.m. in the IPR Conference Room.  The work group will report back to the full CRC with its recommendations by March 2006. 
 
Appeals Work Group (Bob Ueland, Chair):  The work group met on 12/14/05.  There have been no objections to the new seating configuration for CRC meetings and hearings.  A written checklist for room preparation for CRC meetings and hearings was suggested.  (Mike Hess offered to put together a written checklist prior to the January 2006 CRC meeting.)  Work is still needed before a decision can be made on whether to institute providing an Appeal Process Advisor for appellants.  Considerations include the need for a pool of prior CRC members who are willing to serve as Appeal Process Advisors, training for the advisors, and the question of how to ensure that police officers involved in hearings are provided advice equivalent to the advice provided for appellants.  The next meeting of the Appeals Work Group is scheduled for the second Wednesday in January (1/11/06) at 3:00 p.m. in the IPR Conference Room.
 
Community Advisory Council (CAC) Work Group (Hank Miggins, Chair):  There will be a CAC wrap-up meeting the second Wednesday in January (1/11/06) at 2:00 p.m. in the IPR Conference Room.  [The time of this meeting was subsequently changed to 12:00 noon.] 
 
X.                 New Business.
 
Bob Ueland brought up a concern that there appears to have been no follow-up on the policy issues of assigning responsibility for securing the premises of persons who are removed from their residences (for example, for protective custody holds); releasing persons from custody without appropriate clothing to return to their homes; and photographing persons subjected to use of force in order to document injuries or lack of injuries.  
 
Chair Miggins suggested that the CRC at the present time should stick to the top three policy issues that have already been agreed upon.  He stated that after the first of the year, when there is a full nine-member CRC, a work group will be formed to begin work on the towing policy.  He stated that the caretaker issue that Mr. Ueland brought up was fairly high on the top-ten list and will still be there to be dealt with at another time, along with the other policy issues remaining on the list.  Ms. Robison and Mr. Eriksson agreed that CRC should concentrate on the top three policy issues at this time.
 
XI.              Public Comments:  Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch), Freedom Child,
Richard Koenig
 
The meeting was adjourned by Chair Miggins at 9:15 p.m.