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February 21, 2006

 
Minutes
Citizen Review Committee
February 21, 2006
 
Approved March 21, 2006
 
CRC Members Present:  Hank Miggins (Chair), Gwenn Baldwin, Michael Bigham, Loren Eriksson, Theresa Keeney, Irene Ogouma, Lewellyn Robison, Marcella Red Thunder, Robert Ueland
 
City Staff Present:  City Auditor Gary Blackmer, Leslie Stevens (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR), Lauri Stewart (IPR), Scott Warner (IPR), Linly Rees (AssistantCity Attorney)
 
Chair Miggins called the meeting to order at 5:37 p.m.
 
I.  Introductions
 
II.  The minutes of the 1/17/06 meeting were unanimously approved.
 
III.  Director’s Report
  • Introductions, swearing in, and orientation of new CRC members Theresa Keeney and Irene Ogouma.
  • CRC Training Update:  Several members have not attended the PPBCitizensAcademy, but they have attended a shorter version of the citizen’s academy in their training for the Performance and Use of Force Review Committees.   The PPB is trying to put together a Citizen’s Academy in March.  The IPR Director has priority in getting CRC members enrolled, so she will see how many members she can get enrolled for the next academy.   Any CRC members who desire to go on ride-alongs with police officers should coordinate this with IPR Investigator Judy Taylor.  All of the current CRC members (with the exception of the two new members) have attended training sessions at CampWithycomb, but the records of these trainings are not complete.  Director Stevens will look into the possibility of some refresher training at CampWithycomb.  Director Stevens would also like to bring in someone to provide training on Robert’s Rules of Order.  Auditor Blackmer offered to contact Mayor Katz to see if she would be willing to provide this training.  Mr. Ueland mentioned that there is also a local association that provides training on Robert’s Rules of Order.  At the next CRC meeting an overview of the complaint process will be presented by IPR and IAD for the benefit of the new CRC members.  Director Stevens asked the CRC members to provide her with any feedback that would make future trainings as worthwhile and beneficial as possible.
  • The next CRC meeting will be held at a community location, the Port of Portland Building at 121 NW Everett Street.  The guest speaker will be Ms. Samantha Kennedy of Operation Access, which deals with issues of homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness in the downtown/Old Town areas of Portland.
  • Director Stevens did not receive any comments from CRC members regarding the proposed meeting calendar for the remainder of the year, so she is assuming everyone is okay with it.  CRC members are encouraged to continue to provide feedback and suggestions about community meetings.
  • Appeals Update:  Director Stevens is keeping a running list of cases returned  Police Bureau findings for potential appeals. This year to date there have been eight cases returned with Bureau findings, and the appeal deadline has passed on three of these.  To date no new requests for appeal have been received.      
  • New PPB Directives:  no new directives have been issued.
  • Community Outreach Update:  Lauri Stewart is continuing efforts to meet with the Asian Law Enforcement Advisory Council and the Latino Advisory Council, the only police advisory councils with whom the IPR has not yet met.  Ms.Stewart was scheduled to meet with both of these groups, but no one showed up for the meetings.  Ms. Stewart made a presentation to representatives of the People’s Republic of China through the International Visitors Program.. The Tuscalloosa, Alabama, Police Department consulted with IPR in developing a training block for their officers on the use of profanity.  The New York City Citizen Complaint Review Board consulted with IPR concerning mediation issues.
  • Chief’s Forum.  There have been two Chief’s Forums since the last CRC meeting.  The first dealt with the latest community satisfaction survey, which is available online.  This survey included questions about racially biased policing.  The last Police Forum primarily dealt with the Police Bureau’s preparations for Fat Tuesday and budget issues.   
  • Director Stevens provided a confidential packet to CRC members, including an updated CRC/IPR contact list, the IAD investigations status sheet, and the City Attorney’s opinion.   
 
Chair Miggins stated that he is still waiting for Chief Foxworth to respond to CRC’s request to meet with them regarding racially biased policing.  Director Stevens offered to ask Chief Foxworth again.  Chair Miggins said that maybe he should make an appointment with the Chief and ask him.
 
Regarding the City Attorney’s memo in the confidential packet, Mr. Eriksson asked for what reason the memo was given to the CRC and whether it would be discussed at some point.  Director Stevens stated that the memo was in response to recent questions by CRC members that required answers from the City Attorney’s Office.  Director Stevens noted that there could be further discussion with the City Attorney’s Office in executive session, or any CRC member who might have any questions about the memo could call the Director.
 
IV.   New CRC members Irene Ogouma and Theresa Keeney gave a brief introduction of themselves, including their personal backgrounds and their reasons for applying for the Citizen Review Committee.  The returning CRC members also gave brief introductions of themselves to the new members.
 
V.  Work Group Updates
 
  • Community Advisory Council (CAC) Work Group (Hank Miggins, Chair).  The work group met on 2/7/06 and worked on the CAC invitation letter.  After the letter is re-written and re-organized, it will be e-mailed to all CRC members for comments and then finalized.  (There will be no need to bring the letter back to the full CRC for approval since the draft will be circulated.)  The first CAC meeting will take place on 4/25/06 at 7:00 p.m. at the KaiserTown Hall.  When the letter is re-written, each CRC member will be assigned a portion of the letters to sign and mail. 
  • Mediation Work Group. (Gwenn Baldwin, Chair). The Mediation Work Group is winding up and will be presenting its report to the full CRC at the March meeting.  On 3/8/06 there will be a final meeting to work on the draft report.  The report will include recommendations for improvement of the mediation process.     
  • Appeals Work Group (Bob Ueland, Chair).   The last time the Appeals Work Group met was in February.  Jerry Spegman has left the work group since he resigned from CRC.  The work group is waiting for the approval of the draft protocol for the Appeal Process Advisor, which Director Stevens has reviewed.  Director Stevens stated that she has reviewed the draft and does not have any concerns about it, although there are some of the items in the draft that might lack clarity.  As soon as the comments of the IPR Director and the Assistant City Attorney received, the work group will meet again and continue on with this matter.  The work group will then bring the draft protocol before the full CRC for their acceptance and passage.  At that point, the work group will be ready to begin sending out letters to former CRC members to ask them if they would be willing to participate as process advisors.  If this process is put in place, process advisors will be available for both appellants and for members of the Police Bureau who might want this assistance.
  • Chair Miggins explained the work group process to the new CRC members and informed them that they would be asked to participate in a work group. 
  • Chair Miggins announced the creation of the Tow Policy Work Group and asked for volunteers for this work group.  Mr. Bigham, Mr. Eriksson, and Ms. Keeney volunteered to serve on the Tow Policy Work Group.  Ms. Ogouma volunteered to replace Mr. Spegman on the Appeals Work Group.
 
 
VI.  New Business
 
  • Ms. Robison and Mr. Eriksson reported on their meeting with the IAD Captain Tellis on timeliness issues regarding IAD complaint investigations.  They came out of the meeting with a better understanding of what contributes to the workload of the IAD investigators.  Besides citizen complaints, IAD is also responsible for EEO sexual harassment cases, use of lethal force cases, and Bureau initiated cases.  Captain Tellis has initiated a weekly status report prepared for his review.  When an investigation is over 200 days in length, he requires the investigator to write a weekly report explaining the reason it is taking so long until the investigation is completed.  Ms. Robison and Mr. Eriksson found only five cases that were over 200 days old, and all five of these cases were assigned to sergeants who were also responsible for EEO and officer involved shootings investigations. Some complaints involve officers from other agencies who are assigned to the Portland Police Bureau, and these cases often take longer than normal since the completed investigation must be turned over to another agency.  Some cases involve multiple unidentified officers, which also adds to the time needed to complete the investigation.  Ninety percent of the cases are closed within 150 days.  Both Ms. Robison and Mr. Eriksson were comfortable that IAD is addressing the timeliness issue and has instituted a process to minimize timeliness problems to the extent possible. Mr. Eriksson stated that he would like to have CRC continue to receive the IAD status report on a monthly basis, but he would also like the IPR intake date to be included in the report.  Director Stevens agreed to speak to the IPR management analyst about the feasibility of adding that to the report.
  • Mr. Ueland stated that CRC needs to constantly press Chief Foxworth to make the timely completion of citizen complaint investigations a priority.   
  • Ms. Red Thunder stated that she is concerned that the “transcription” of the interviews in the complaint files does not necessarily match the taped interview.  Director Stevens pointed out that the investigative summaries are not typically verbatim transcriptions of the taped interviews.  Ms. Red Thunder stated as an example that the written version sometimes makes it look like the officer was offering up information, but it was really the interviewer asking questions and the officers merely agreeing with what the investigator said.  Director Stevens suggested that this is an area that she could look into and it might be a work group project.  Chair Miggins proposed that a work group be assigned to look at this issue, but that there should be some direction from the CRC on the specific expectations of such a work group.  Director Stevens stated that she would raise these concerns in her regular meetings with IAD and that the CRC might discuss their concerns with Captain Tellis at the next CRC meeting before deciding whether to go forward with a work group.  
  • Ms. Robison gave an update on the Early Intervention System (EIS).  She and Mr. Eriksson are representatives to the advisory board for the Police Bureau’s EIS development.  On 2/8/06 they met with Darrel Schenck, who informed them that the system would soon be loaded on at least one desktop computer to see how it works “in real life.”  The system is designed to identify performance behaviors that would indicate there is some problem with a particular officer when the problem is still correctable.  Training will begin soon.  Five years of data for the various elements will be kept, with the oldest year of data purged every year.  It is an automated system in that the data will be imported from other data systems and there will be no data entry.  No specific thresholds have yet been established.  Director Stevens stated that Chief Foxworth has invited her to attend an upcoming EIS best practices conference in Phoenix with Captain Tellis and Darrel Schenck..   
  • Ms. Red Thunder stated that she does not like the name of CRC.  She does not believe that the current name adequately reflects what the committee is and does.  She mentioned that there are several “Citizen Review Committees” in the City of Portland .   She asked that the CRC members give this some thought.
 
VII.   Public Comment:  Marsha Anderson, Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch), Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters).  Ms. Anderson requested a re-vote on the CRC’s decision to accept the Police Bureau’s revised findings on her complaint based on her contention that Chief Foxworth confused a conduct allegation with a courtesy allegation. 
 
VIII. Wrap-up Comments:
 
  • In response to Ms. Anderson’s request for a re-vote on her appeal, legal advice was asked from and given by Assistant City Attorney Rees.  After discussion about whether Ms. Anderson’s contention constituted new information, Gwenn Baldwin made a motion to reconsider the CRC’s decision to accept Chief Foxworth’s findings.  Ms. Red Thunder seconded the motion.  After further discussion and public comment, the motion failed to pass by a vote of 3-4. 
 
Yes:  Baldwin, Eriksson, Red Thunder
No:   Bigham, Miggins, Robison, Ueland
 
(The two new members did not vote as they were not party to the hearing.)
 
At the conclusion of this vote, Ms. Rees suggested that Protocol 5.14 (Protocol for Request for Reconsideration of CRCDecision)should not be so painful, and Chair Miggins stated that he agreed with that and that he was going to suggest that this protocol be redone.
  • Director Stevens reminded CRC members to let Lauri Stewart know if there were any changes to their mini-biographies for the 2005 Annual Report.  
  • In response to a question from Mr. Eriksson about when the election of new CRC officers would take place, Chair Miggins announced that the election will take place at the next meeting.  
IX.  Additional Public Comment:  Freedom Child
 
Chair Miggins adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m.