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April 18, 2006

 
Minutes
Citizen Review Committee
April 18, 2006
 
Approved May 16, 2006
 
CRC Members Present:  Hank Miggins (Chair), Michael Bigham, Loren Eriksson, Theresa Keeney, Irene Ogouma (arrived at 5:40 p.m.), Lewellyn Robison, Robert Ueland
 
CRC Member Absent:  Marcella Red Thunder 
 
City Staff Present:  City Auditor Gary Blackmer, Leslie Stevens (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR), Lauri Stewart (IPR), Scott Warner (IPR); Linly Rees (City Attorney’s Office)
 
Portland Police Bureau Members Present:  Acting Chief Rosanne Sizer, Captain John Tellis (IAD), Lieutenant Jay Drum (IAD), Sergeant Robert King (Portland Police Association)
 
Chair Miggins called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.
 
I.      Introductions of CRC members and meeting attendees 
 
II.      Approval of Minutes of 3/21/06CRC Meeting:  Ms. Robison made a motion to approve the minutes.  Mr. Ueland seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a vote of 6-0, with an abstention by Mr. Eriksson, who did not attend the 3/21/06 meeting.
 
III.      Introduction of Acting Chief Rosanne Sizer:  Chair Miggins introduced Acting Chief Sizer to the CRC.  Chief Sizer thanked the CRC members for their work and stated that she believes that the Police Bureau is a better organization for having civilian oversight and a professional staff reviewing internal investigations.  Regarding her current status, Chief Sizer stated that she is Acting Police Chief pending the outcome of an investigation of Chief Foxworth.   She has been asked to serve until there is a decision.  At the time a decision is made, if Chief Foxworth does not return, there will be a selection process, at which time she plans to apply. 
 
Chief Sizer then entertained questions from CRC.    
 
Mr. Ueland stated that the CRC has noted that the time to investigate IAD cases has been going up as the number of IAD sergeants has gone down, and it does not appear that the new budget calls for any more investigators.  He asked that IAD investigators not be pulled off of IAD work to do things such as background investigations and other duties, which has happened in the past. 
 
In response to Mr. Ueland’s comment, Chief Sizer stated that timeliness has been a goal of the Police Bureau for a long time and is important for both for the citizens making the complaints and the officers.  The Police Bureau would like to see more immediacy between a behavior and correction when correction is warranted.  
 
Chief Sizer mentioned that changing the current tow policy is an issue of concern to her that she has discussed with former Director Rosenthal and Director Stevens, and she was aware that this is an issue of concern to the CRC as well.  Chief Sizer said the Bureau will be working on policy that would give officers more discretion regarding tows. 
 
Mr. Bigham, Chair of the CRC Tow Policy Work Group, stated that the City Tow Coordinator informed him that there is a plan on the table to have all police tows go to the City tow yards and that personal car owners would have to pay a fee to the City to retrieve their cars.  Chief Sizer confirmed that there is a plan to move away from using private tow lots, which is part of a bigger package involving the relocation of the Property/Evidence Room.  Mr. Bigham expressed concern that there would be a substantial fee charged to persons whose vehicles are towed. 
 
Chair Miggins thanked Chief Sizer for coming to the meeting.  
 
IV.      Pre-hearing of Case #2005-C-0111
 
The appellant and a witness were present.  The involved officers were not present.  Sergeant Robert King, PPA President, was present to represent the officers.
 
Chair Miggins read the pre-hearing protocol, and Deputy Director Hess read a summary of the pre-hearing working paper.  The appellant presented testimony on his own behalf.  Sergeant King presented testimony on the behalf of the officers, followed by discussion by CRC members. 
 
Mr. Ueland asked the appellant if the witness identified by the appellant had been questioned by the police.  The appellant replied that he had not.  Ms. Robison asked the appellant if the witness observed the interaction between the appellant and the arresting officers.  The appellant replied, “He was standing right there.”  Mr. Eriksson asked the appellant if he had submitted a picture of his injuries.  IAD replied that they had not seen a photograph from the appellant. 
 
Mr. Ueland stated the following:  “I think that since there is a witness that has not yet been questioned, I think that we should move to a full hearing on this, and IAD should go back and obviously include this witness, the witness that has not yet been questioned by the police.”  Chair Miggins asked Mr. Ueland if this was a formal motion, and he stated that it was.  Ms. Ogouma seconded the motion.  Assistant City Attorney Rees advised that the CRC may either ask for further investigation by IAD, which may result in a change in the findings, or they may set the appeal for a full hearing, but they may not do both.  Mr. Ueland and Ms. Ogouma withdrew the motion. 
 
Mr. Bigham stated, “I would move that we call for further investigation and that we ask that IAD interview the appellant’s witness.”   Mr. Ueland seconded the motion.  Mr. Ueland then stated, “Mr. Chair, as part of the discussion, or some of the things I might like to have come back based on that investigation is some word from police training or police protocols as to whether or not there is a camera in every officer’s car when he goes out on patrol, and whether or not Training had looked at all possible… in cases of injury… a picture be taken at the location…. This keeps coming up…. I understand they can’t use it all the time, but if they’re there, sometimes it would be good to have an instantaneous picture of some sort.  So that could be part of what to bring back.”  
 
Mr. Eriksson asked the appellant if it would be possible for him to release to IAD the medical information or the picture he said he had of his injuries, so that this evidence can be weighed as well. 
 
Mr. Ueland asked that IAD also interview the EMT from the Fire Bureau who responded to the call.  Director Stevens responded as follows:  “I can certainly ask IAD to do that, but I can tell you, based on my experience, that the Fire Department is not going to be able to tell the Bureau anything about the medical condition of the patient that they treated.”  Mr. Ueland suggested that the Mayor and City Council should be made aware of this.  Director Stevens stated that this is based on federal law. 
 
Captain Tellis of IAD stated at this point that he could answer some of CRC’s questions immediately if they would like to ask him.  Chair Miggins chose to defer any further discussion to the time of a full hearing if one takes place.
 
Director Stevens then clarified the process as follows:  “I just want to be real clear on the process.  The motion is to recommend further investigation, so I’ll ask IAD to do further investigation – I expect that they will – and then what will happen is it will go back through the process.  There’s a new investigation that will go to the RU commander, the RU commander will make recommended findings, and those recommended findings will go back to IAD.  They may or may not change.  If they change, and the appellant is satisfied and doesn’t appeal the new findings, it wouldn’t come back as part of the appeal… If he does choose to appeal them, then it will come back to this process.  It’s very possible, for example, that the appellant is satisfied.”  
 
Ms. Ogouma requested assurance that the appellant understood the process.  The appellant responded that he understood that there would be additional investigation and that he would have to appeal again if he did not agree with the new findings.
 
The motion to send the case back to IAD for further investigation was voted on and carried unanimously. 
 
V.      Director’s Report
 
Appeals Update:  To date for calendar year 2006 there have been eleven cases investigated through findings that have been eligible for appeal.  For ten of those cases, the deadline for appeal has passed, and for the eleventh case, the deadline has not yet been reached. 
 
New PPB Directives:  IPR received one new directive and several additional informational items from the Police Bureau, including a memo from the Chief about the use of business cards.  These items were handed out in a packet to CRC members.
 
Early Intervention System (EIS) Update:  Director Stevens stated that she has seen a version of the data base. The next step is to make sure the computer data base is working properly and then training will be provided for the sergeants, who will be charged with doing the early intervention.  After getting input from the sergeants, thresholds will be determined.  Mr. Ueland asked if there will be any citizen involvement in defining the thresholds, and Director Stevens replied that there is a citizen advisory board, which includes CRC members Loren Eriksson and Lewellyn Robison.  Staffing, implementation details, and location of the EIS within the Police Bureau are yet to be determined.  Auditor Blackmer stated that he has expressed to the Mayor that between the proposed internal audit function and EIS, EIS should be given the higher priority by the Police Bureau.
 
Chief’s Forum Update (Lauri Stewart):  The last Chief’s Forum with Chief Foxworth looked at the efforts of the various Chief’s Forum members to do community policing projects.  The commanders and assistant chiefs spoke about their own projects.  The Chief’s Forum yesterday was the first one with Chief Sizer.  It was a “get acquainted” meeting in which Chief Sizer wanted to hear from the Forum members about the main issues of concern to their constituencies. 
 
Community Outreach.  (Lauri Stewart):  The upcoming meetings of the Community Advisory Council (CAC) meeting and the Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC), and the next newsletter have been the main focus of outreach efforts.  In addition, Ms. Stewart has been speaking to a lot of different community organizations in response to the CAC invitational letters and has made presentations to three international groups from the State Department, including groups from Azerbaijani, Spain, and the former Soviet Republic.  Director Stevens attended a meeting with the Police Bureau’s Operations Branch in which she and Captain Tellis talked to them about the complaint process.  For the next CRC meeting in the Southwest community, Ms. Stewart has arranged for the City Tow Coordinator to address tow issues and proposed changes in the tow policy.
 
The next CRC meeting will take place at the MultnomahCenter at 7688 SW Capital Highway.
 
VI.      Workgroup Updates
 
Community Advisory Council (CAC) Workgroup (Hank Miggins, Chair).  Chair Miggins e-mailed to all CRC members the minutes of the previous CAC Workgroup meeting, including the agenda for the 4/25/06 CAC meeting.  Auditor Blackmer and Director Stevens have agreed to attend the meeting.   All CRC members reported on contacts they have made with individuals and organizations who were invited to participate in the CAC. Thus far approximately 30 persons have confirmed that they will attend this meeting.   Mr. Ueland mentioned that several persons he contacted could not make it to the 4/25/06 meeting, but they expressed a desire to be kept informed, and he promised that they would be kept in the loop on minutes of the CAC meetings and future e-mails.  Ms. Stewart reminded the CRC members to save their worksheets for her, and Director Stevens asked everyone to note on their worksheets anyone that they committed to follow up with.   Chair Miggins stated that there will be a debriefing meeting of the CAC Workgroup some time after the CAC meeting and prior to the next full CRC meeting.   
 
Appeal Workgroup (Robert Ueland, Chair).  The Appeal Workgroup is continuing its work on the Appeal Process Advisor protocol.  The next meeting of the Appeal Workgroup is scheduled for May 8 at 9:00 a.m. in the IPR Conference Room.
 
Tow Policy Workgroup (Michael Bigham, Chair).  The first meeting of the Tow Policy Workgroup is set for May 2 at 1:00 p.m. in the IPR Conference Room.   Director Stevens suggested, and Mr. Bigham agreed, that since the Police Bureau has already expressed a willingness to revise the tow policy, it may be possible for the Tow Policy Workgroup to do a somewhat expedited policy review.  Auditor Blackmer cautioned that “just talking about the problem” without offering solutions and proposed language often does not lead to the desired action.   Mr. Eriksson asked Director Stevens if CRC could obtain a copy of the Police Bureau’s proposal on tow policy change.  Director Stevens replied that she will ask for this, but it is her understanding from a brief conversation with Chief Sizer that there isn’t anything in writing yet.  Director Stevens stated that Chief Sizer’s focus is on affording greater discretion to officers in deciding whether or not to tow a vehicle.  Ms. Stewart added that, according to Chief Sizer, an officer has been assigned to conduct best practices research and begin work on a draft of the revised towing directive.  
 
In response to a question from Ms. Ogouma about the status of the Mediation Workgroup, Chair Miggins explained that the work of the Mediation Workgroup came to a close with the adoption of their final report at the last CRC meeting.  Director Stevens stated that IPR is already working on implementation of the recommendations, and Director Stevens will report back to CRC on this.  Chair Miggins clarified that CRC no longer has standing workgroups.  All workgroups are task specific, and when a workgroup’s final report is adopted by the full CRC, the workgroup is disbanded.
 
Mr. Eriksson expressed a concern that he thought there had been an understanding that workgroup reports would not be adopted at the time they are submitted but CRC members would be given a month to think about them and then vote on adoption at the next meeting.  Chair Miggins recalled that there was an agreement to that effect, but it was not written into the workgroup protocol.  Chair Miggins made the point that some of the newer CRC members were not even aware of this prior understanding, so he would support having it codified in the workgroup protocol.  Director Stevens stated that the workgroup protocol is very short, and it would be a simple matter to add this to the protocol.
 
VII.      New Business
 
Chair Miggins expressed a desire to create a workgroup to review the protocols.  Director Stevens agreed that there are issues throughout the protocols that could stand some thoughtful discussion, but she had not brought forward the issue of the protocols because she was aware that CRC had spent time conducting a review of all the protocols just before she got here.  Chair Miggins, Ms. Robison, and Mr. Ueland volunteered to serve on the Protocol Workgroup, and Ms. Robison agreed to chair the group.  The date of the first meeting was not yet determined.
 
Ms. Ogouma suggested that when CRC is discussing a motion on a complex matter, there should be a “gap” or a momentary pause before the vote is taken.  She said she was surprised in the last meeting at how fast the process went forward and a vote was taken.  She said she is not asking the group to slow down, but that “moment of gap” before moving forward would be desirable.   
 
Chair Miggins expressed concern that the room set-up for tonight’s meeting did not conform to the protocol that was previously adopted.  Mr. Eriksson and Mr. Ueland explained that the room had been set up properly before the meeting, but a member of the public unknowingly changed it.  CRC members agreed to accept responsibility for the room arrangement prior to the meetings.
 
VIII.      Public Comment:  Teresa Teater, King Jay, Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch)
 
IX.      Wrap-up Comments:
 
Chair Miggins brought up the matter of pre-hearings, stating that the pre-hearing protocol was originally developed out of necessity because of a large backlog of appeals.  Since the appeal workload is not a problem at this time, Chair Miggins suggested temporarily suspending, but not voiding, the pre-hearings protocol.  Mr. Ueland suggested that the first item of business for the newly formed Protocol Workgroup should be to formulate a proposal about this.  In response to a concern raised by Ms. Ogouma, Chair Miggins assured her that any proposed changes would not affect the results of tonight’s pre-hearing. 
 
Chair Miggins stated that Ms. Red Thunder had been excused from attending tonight’s meeting.  
 
Chair Miggins adjourned the meeting at 7:25 p.m.