CRC Members Present: Hank Miggins (Chair), Gwenn Baldwin, Michael Bigham, Theresa Keeney, Irene Ogouma, Lewellyn Robison, Marcella Red Thunder, Robert
CRC Member Absent: Loren Eriksson
City Staff Present: City Auditor Gary Blackmer, Leslie Stevens (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR), Lauri Stewart (IPR), Scott Warner (IPR); Steve Morrow (IPR)
Portland Police Bureau Members Present: Captain John Tellis (IAD), Lieutenant Jay Drum (IAD)
Chair Miggins called the meeting to order at
II. Director’s Report
PoliceAssessmentResourceCenter (PARC): We are on the second follow-up to the first PARC report. The first PARC report looked at several years of officer-involved shootings and made 89 recommendations to the Police Bureau. Last year’s PARC report reviewed some of those 89 recommendations and additional shooting incidents. This year’s review will cover officer-involved shootings from January 2002 to October 2003 and the Bureau’s progress in implementing the 25 recommendations that were in Chapters 6 and 8 of the original report. The PARC reports are on the IPR website, and there are hard copies available in the IPR office. PARC will be arriving in Portland on April 27. They have meetings with IPR, the Mayor’s Office, and with the Police Bureau, and they would also like to meet on that date with CRC and interested citizen groups. PARC has asked if it would be possible to have a special meeting with CRC on Thursday, April 27, at or in the Lovejoy Room in the City Hall. That would give PARC time afterwards to have individual meetings or group meetings with any interested community members. (CRC members agreed to this meeting time and location.) IPR will issue public notice of this meeting and invitations to specific groups. Director Stevens asked if anyone has a suggestion of particular groups that would be interested in being invited to this meeting to let her or Lauri Stewart know so that they can be included on the mailing list.
Appeals Update: For the year to date there have been seven cases that were eligible for appeal (i.e., cases that had full investigations and findings). IPR received an appeal today that was technically one day late. Director Stevens decided to accept the appeal because of extenuating circumstances – the appellant was out of state and called IPR as soon as he received notice of the right to appeal. He mailed the appeal request from out of state. The appeal request was due on 3/20/06. He signed it on 3/17/06, mailed it on 3/18/06, and IPR received it on 3/21/06. There will be a pre-hearing on this appeal at the next CRC meeting.
New PPB Directives: No new directives have been issued. The Police Bureau published its most recent directives update on their website in December.
Community Outreach Update (Lauri Stewart): the main focus in the past month was on completing the latest quarterly report and on updating and expanding the IPR e-mail list. We also provided consultation for Seattle’s mediation program. Lauri also met with Mr. Alejandro Queral, the new Executive Director of the NorthwestConstitutionalRightsCenter. Director Stevens added that we have just recently begun producing the quarterly newsletters, so we are on a learning curve, and we are trying to improve on each successive edition. We are starting on the next newsletter, and we are trying to get them out in a timelier manner. CRC members should give us suggestions on what to include or what not to include or to submit articles for the newsletter. We are going to try to have a production schedule or calendar for the newsletters so they will come out on a more regular basis. In response to a question from Chair Miggins about the deadline for submitting items, Director Stevens said she would try to e-mail CRC members about the newsletter schedules. Lauri stated that the first draft of the next quarterly newsletter is already started, but there is still some available space if any CRC members would like to submit anything. Director Stevens stated that one of her goals has been to utilize the quarterly newsletter to comply with requirement of the ordinance for quarterly reporting and at the same time to use the newsletter as an outreach tool for both IPR and CRC.
Chief’s Forum (Lauri Stewart). There have been two Chief’s Forums since the last CRC meeting. The 3/6/06 Chief’s Forum addressed the issue of call-taking criteria of the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC): how calls get to the police and how they are responded to. Also, the Police Bureau is considering allowing citizens to file complaints and police reports online. The 3/20/06 Chief’s Forum included a discussion of problem-oriented policing. Last fall the Police Bureau was given funding for this program, which is designed to target specific kinds of problems throughout the city. Each precinct was given a certain amount of funding to address the most urgent problems in their areas.
III. Auditor Blackmer stated that he has completed a draft of a letter to the Chief, which he handed out to the CRC for their comments. He also mentioned that there was an article in the newspaper about the Police Bureau’s use of force reports. Auditor Blackmer wants to explore how far they are from implementing the Early Intervention System.
Director Stevens said that she spoke with Captain Killinger of the Records Division about the use of force reports, and he indicated that the programmer was working on developing an interface between the use of force reports and the Portland Police Data System, which was expected to be done today. Director Stevens also learned that the fields that the current records management system already recognizes have been populated from all of the use of force reports, so there is a good deal of information from the use of force reports that has already been put into the system. The next step will be for Records personnel to test the system to ensure that the connection is working. Director Stevens saw a dry run of the Early Intervention System today, and she reported that the PPDS use of force data is currently being exported into the Early Intervention System data.
IV. Guest Speaker: Samantha Kennedy of Project Access.
Project Access is a program of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement that receives its funding through a contract with the Police Bureau. Soon after Ms. Kennedy began working in Old Town Portland, she began to encounter problems with homeless persons with chronic arrest records, addictions, and mental health issues who were falling through the cracks and not receiving the necessary services from the numerous social service and treatment agencies that have been set up to assist the homeless. Ms. Kennedy began working with the downtown police officers and the various social service agencies to link these persons with housing, social services, medical and psychiatric care, and substance abuse treatment so that they can get out of the constant criminal justice cycle in which they have become mired.
V. Discussion with Community Members
Mr. Larry Norton brought up a perception among OldTown business owners that police officers often fail to take appropriate action or fail to write reports or follow up when responding to crimes in the downtown area. Director Stevens advised Mr. Norton that IPR takes complaints of this nature and refers them to IAD if there is any indication of a policy violation.
Mr. Alejandro Queral, Executive Director of the NorthwestConstitutionalRightsCenter, asked when the next appeal hearing would take place. Chair Miggins responded that there will be an appeal pre-hearing at the next CRC meeting.
Ms. Teresa Teater stated that she filed a complaint which she did not believe was adequately investigated, and she claimed she was not informed about the appeal process.
Ms. Freedom Child took issue with the assessment in the IPR Annual Report that IAD investigations are complete and thorough, because a complaint she filed was not investigated.
Mr. Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch asked CRC if they had considered reviewing the Police Bureau’s taser policy in light of the recent death of a man who had been tasered. Chair Miggins responded that he is following this issue and he assumes that the other CRC members will also be watching it.
VI. Approval of minutes of the 2/21/06CRC meeting: Mr. Ueland moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Ms. Robison. The motion passed unanimously.
VII. Election of CRC Officers
Chair: Mr. Bigham nominated Mr. Miggins. Mr. Ueland moved to close the nominations.
Vice-chair: Mr. Ueland nominated Mr. Bigham. Mr. Ueland moved to close the nominations.
Recorder: Mr. Ueland nominated Ms. Robison. Mr. Ueland moved to close the nominations.
Mr. Ueland moved that the election be conducted on the slate of nominees. Ms. Robison seconded the motion. The motion passed with seven “yes” votes and one abstention by Ms. Baldwin.
VIII. Overview of the Complaint Process (Training and Orientation)
Director Stevens presented an overview of the IPR complaint process.
Captain Tellis and Lieutenant Drum and presented an overview of the IAD complaint process.
IX. Work Group Updates
Community Advisory Council (CAC) Work Group (Hank Miggins, Chair). The CAC invitation letters will be complete this week. The next meeting of the CAC Work Group is scheduled for 4/11/06 at in the IPR Conference Room. The purpose of this meeting is to develop an agenda for first CAC meeting and to discuss how the meeting will be conducted.
Mediation Work Group. (Gwenn Baldwin, Chair). Ms. Baldwin presented the Mediation Work Group’s final report and recommendations.
Auditor Blackmer stated that from his standpoint, this was an excellent report and these are very good recommendations which, if adopted, would allow work to begin on developing new protocols.
Mr. Ueland moved to adopt the Mediation Work Group’s report. Mr. Bigham seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 6-1, with one abstention.
Yes: Baldwin, Bigham, Keeney, Red Thunder, Robison, Ueland
Appeal Work Group (Robert Ueland, Chair)
The Appeal Work Group is continuing its work on the Appeal Process Advisor protocol. The next meeting of the Appeal Work Group is scheduled for 4/3/06 at in the IPR Conference Room.
X. New Business
Mr. Ueland stated that CRC should think about working on a protocol for City Council hearings. Auditor Blackmer mentioned that the City Council sets its own protocols.
Mr. Bigham stated that the City Tow Coordinator in Commissioner Leonard’s office has informed him that the City and the Police Bureau are considering a change in their tow policy that would make it more of an asset forfeiture model. Under this model, all police-ordered tows would be taken to the City tow lot and people would pay a penalty of $350-$500 to get their cars back. In view of this development, Mr. Bigham believes that this is an opportune time for CRC to begin its review of the tow policy.
Ms. Red Thunder commented that she is still interested in changing the name of the CRC. Chair Miggins stated that he has been thinking about this and talking to people about this. He does not intend to let this issue die, but he needs to talk about it some more.
XI. Public Comment: Teresa Teater, Alejandro Queral, Dan Handelman, Freedom Child
XII. Wrap-up Comments:
Ms. Baldwin announced that she is resigning from the CRC. She made the following statement: “I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t continue in service on the CRC and will formally tender my resignation at the conclusion of this meeting. I appreciate the very difficult task that this group plays, and I guess I would encourage in the future that, while we have a fairly narrow purview in terms of our appeal work goes, as was delineated tonight, that we remain as open and as vigilant to that appeals process as we can possibly be. It… I don’t know what the right term is… it bothers me, it disturbs me, I’m disappointed that what I think is one of the most powerful roles that the CRC has, as limited as it is, to help reconnect the public and trust is one that is so infrequently afforded to us, through any number of reasons, and that how we handle appeals and how far they go I think is truly one of the most potent pieces of citizen confidence related to the Police Bureau, and I don’t think it’s being exercised to its fullest, even within the narrow purview that we have. So, I encourage you, as you move forward in your work, to really maintain diligence around that. Thank you.”
Chair Miggins stated the following: “I appreciate that comment, and the reason the CAC is moving forward is to do exactly what you just addressed, and that is to get more information out there, to get more input from the citizenry about what we do. I just want to see more of that happen. I want to see more people involved, and when we go places like we are tonight, I’d like to see this room full. I’d like to dispense with this agenda and deal with that agenda.”