Citizen Review Committee
July 18, 2006
Approved February 20, 2007
CRC Members Present: Michael Bigham (Acting Chair), Loren Eriksson, Irene Ogouma, Lewellyn Robison, Robert Ueland
CRC Members Absent: Hank Miggins, Marcella Red Thunder
City Staff Present: Leslie Stevens (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR), Lauri Stewart (IPR)
Mr. Bigham called the meeting to order at 5:45 p.m.
I. Introductions and welcome (Mr. Bigham)
II. Approval of 6/20/06 Minutes: Mr. Eriksson made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Mr. Ueland seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
III. Director’s Report
• Theresa Keeney resigned from the CRC for personal reasons.
• Appeals Update: For calendar year 2006 there have been 19 cases where IPR has sent notice that the case is eligible for appeal. To date, two appeal requests have been received.
• New PPB Directives: Two new directives were issued since the last CRC meeting.
• Chief’s Forum (Lauri Stewart): The topic for the 7/17/06 Chief’s Forum was the Mayor’s Vision Project PDX.
• Community Outreach Update (Lauri Stewart):
Submitted a story on the IPR and CRC and an announcement of this meeting for the Sellwood Bee.
Spoke about IPR, CRC, and police oversight with David Greenberg, producer of American Teen, a cable access program for teens. He is interested in doing some educational pieces for youth on how to avoid conflict with police.
Consulted with City of Seattle on Portland’s process for recruiting an IPR Director.
Consulted with Spokane Spokesman about civilian oversight, the IPR model and history.
Attended special meeting of the African American Advisory Council in which Chief Sizer addressed the community's concerns over recent assignment decisions within the Police Bureau and reassured the community that she intends to be responsive and accessible to them.
Attended Southwest Neighborhoods Crime Prevention Meeting with Chair Miggins and Ms. Ogouma.
Spoke with SE Neighborhood Coalition Co-chairs regarding CRC July meeting in Southeast Portland and neighborhood concerns regarding the police.
Spoke with SE Uplift Director who volunteered to help with outreach by announcing the CRC meeting in their e-mail weekly updates and community calendar.
Followed up on Chair Miggins’s suggestion to contact the Oregon State Bar Association and the Multnomah Bar Association as possible distribution sites for complaint/commendation forms. They were pleased to learn more about IPR and are willing to refer clients to the IPR, but they are not realistically set up for brochure distribution.
Upcoming outreach activities include Portland Impact on 7/20/06, Chinese international visitors on 7/28/06, and Korean community meeting on 8/12/06.
Director Stevens added that Rod Beard, who was the IAD Captain when she first started, has been appointed as a new Assistant Chief over IAD.
IV. Guest Speakers: Officer Paul Ware, Coordinator of the PPB Crisis Intervention Team, and Mr. Jay Auslander from Project Respond. The topic was police response to persons with mental health issues. Following their presentation, questions were entertained from CRC, IPR, and members of the public.
V. Work Group Updates
• Community Advisory Council (CAC) Workgroup (Michael Bigham)
The CAC Workgroup met (on 6/28/06) to review the status of the CAC and concluded that the original model of a semi-independent CAC was probably not going to work. However, the workgroup members agreed that there is still a need for community input and outreach, but they must be realistic about the commitment of time and effort demanded of overtaxed volunteers and social service professionals as well as of CRC members and IPR staff. It would be more beneficial if parameters are defined regarding the issues to be discussed. They agreed that it would probably require only one meeting to let community groups know about CRC, and one meeting for community representatives to tell the CRC about the experiences of their community with police. It was thought that there was not necessarily a need for the CAC to exist as a standing ongoing council, and other means of achieving the remaining outreach goals of the CAC should be explored. The workgroup concluded that they should attempt to create a menu of options for how to proceed and bring this back to the full CRC for a decision. They agreed that they would be closer to reaching their objectives if they were to do one or more of the following:
Schedule time at regular CRC meetings for community presentations and discussions by and with groups with which the CRC would like to exchange information.
Hold separate community meetings on a one-time basis, inviting groups that are linked by common interest areas or themes to share their concerns or experiences with PPB officers, for example youth issues, the homeless, felons attempting to reintegrate into the community, or the Hispanic or African American communities.
Create a workgroup that would include interested groups in the community to look at ways that are within the scope of CRC authority to improve the CRC/IPR processes.
Invite potential CAC members to CRC meetings to address the CRC.
(These issues were presented in a CAC working paper prepared by Chair Miggins.)
Chair Miggins wants to have discussion about the future direction of the CAC, but Mr. Bigham preferred to defer any decision until Chair Miggins is present.
Director Stevens suggested that each CRC member take a meeting over the course of the year and choose a topic for the meeting, such as “homelessness,” tapping into established outreach contacts in that particular community and extending a personal invitation to a representative of that community to present at the meeting. IPR would facilitate in identifying speakers whom CRC members might be interested in contacting, sending public notifications or press releases, etc., but CRC might be better served by selecting a topic and doing the one-on-one outreach to let the speakers know what CRC would like to hear about.
Ms. Stewart asked for suggestions for a speaker for the September meeting in East Portland. There followed a discussion of the type of speakers who would be beneficial for future CRC meetings.
• Tow Policy Workgroup (Michael Bigham, Chair)
Mr. Bigham presented the Tow Policy Workgroup Objectives and Work Plan. Mr. Bigham explained that when the Tow Policy Workgroup was initially formed, they thought they were under a time restriction, so they were trying to “fast track” their work. They were concerned about the Police Bureau enacting some changes in their tow policy, but they have since learned from Police Bureau representatives that the Police Bureau is not making any policy changes but simply moving towards implementing the existing policy, and some of this implementation is not going to happen for a while. The workgroup is currently at item number 5 on their work plan, which is to discuss tow issues with the Police Bureau, City Attorney, and other City Bureaus.
Public comment was solicited on the workplan and objectives. At the suggestion of Mr. Handelman, the phrase, “and the public,” was added to work plan item number 5.
Due to the loss of Ms. Keeney from the workgroup, leaving only Mr. Bigham and Mr. Eriksson, Mr. Bigham asked if it would be possible to add a member of the public to the workgroup. Director Stevens stated that there is nothing in the workgroup protocol that would preclude that, but she advised that non-CRC members of the workgroup would be restricted from reviewing case files. Mr. Bigham asked if any member of the public present at the meeting would be interested in serving on the workgroup. No one volunteered. Director Stevens suggested that Commissioner Leonard’s Office, which oversees the City Tow Program, may be able to suggest a citizen who would be interested in participating in the workgroup. She said that if the workgroup would like, Ms. Stewart could contact Mr. Leonard’s Office to find out if they know of anyone, and Mr. Bigham and Mr. Eriksson agreed that this would be a good idea.
Mr. Eriksson made a motion to accept the work plan as amended. Mr. Ueland seconded the motion. There was no further discussion from the CRC or comments from the public. The motion passed unanimously.
A date for the next Tow Policy Workgroup had not yet been determined. Mr. Bigham assured Deputy Director Hess that he would notify him at least one week before the next meeting so that public notification may be sent out.
• Appeal Work Group (Robert Ueland, Chair)
Two former CRC members, Eric Terrell and TJ Browning, have volunteered to serve as Appeal Process Advisors (APAs). Mr. Terrell and Ms. Browning will be invited to the next Appeal Workgroup meeting on Wednesday, 8/9/06, at 10:00 a.m. The workgroup will review each item on their work plan to determine which issues have been addressed and how the remaining issues will be handled. The APA protocol (Protocol No. 5.21) has been posted on the IPR website. Mr. Ueland suggested that it will probably be necessary to brainstorm ways to recruit more APAs from the community and to provide them with the necessary training to perform this function.
• Protocol Workgroup (Lewellyn Robison, Chair)
The Protocol Workgroup, comprised of Ms. Ogouma, Mr. Ueland, Mr. Miggins, and Ms. Robison, met on 7/10/06. The workgroup selected four protocols based on issues that had previously been raised, each of which was assigned to a workgroup member as follows:
Mr. Ueland – Protocol No. 5.03 (Appeals Procedures)
Mr. Miggins – Protocol No. 5.11 (Pre-hearing Protocol)
Ms. Ogouma – Protocol No. 5.12 (Workgroup Protocol)
Ms. Robison – Protocol No. 5.14 (Request for Reconsideration of CRC Decision)
Each workgroup member is working independently on his or her assigned protocol and will have draft language prepared for the next Protocol Workgroup meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, 8/14/06, at 10:00 a.m.
VI. CRC Goals for the Coming Year (Ms. Robison)
The question has been raised as to whether the CRC should have another retreat to develop goals for the coming year. Ms. Robison asked for the group’s input on whether they should schedule a retreat or a special meeting for developing a plan for the coming year, keeping in mind that a CRC member would have to coordinate this. If the group agrees to go in this direction, Ms. Robison suggested that it may be more beneficial to wait until the next calendar year for the retreat or special meeting, when new CRC members are brought in. The Appeal Workgroup is looking into training on conducting effective meetings.
Mr. Bigham stated that the last retreat was held soon after he came on board, and he found it helped him to connect with the group and learn about the function of the CRC. He thought a retreat or a special meeting would be a good way for new members to connect.
Director Stevens hopes to carry out CRC recruitment over the summer so that the Council can make a decision early in the fall, even the new members might not take office until afterwards.
Ms. Robison asked if the special meeting should be targeted for some time in early February 2007. In the meantime, the group should be coming up with ideas on things they would like to include. Ms. Robison offered to coordinate the planning of the meeting for now, keeping in mind that her term expires in December. After some discussion, it was agreed that January might be preferable for the meeting if new CRC members are on board by then.
Mr. Ueland suggested that attending a Citizens Police Academy together would be a good vehicle for CPR members to get to know each other better. Director Stevens stated that it is doubtful that there will be a Citizens Police Academy this fall, but she will be meeting with the Training Division next week to discuss the possibility of a one-day training for CRC. Director Stevens will also ask the Training Division about the possibility of CRC members attending some of the Advanced Academy classes. She suggested that it may also be beneficial to ask someone from the DA’s office to make a presentation to CRC about search and seizure, which is a common issue in complaints.
VII. New Business
Potential speakers for the September CRC meeting were discussed. Suggestions included Street Roots, Dignity Village, and the ACLU.
VIII. Public Comment
Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch) made a comment regarding tonight’s presentation.
Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters) encouraged CRC to continue to continue the dialogue with community organizations that have clients who have a lot of contacts with the police. She suggested the possibly of quarterly roundtable sessions with community representatives who attended the CAC meeting and expressed interest in coming back to meet with the CRC.
IX. Wrap-up Comments:
Following up on Ms. Aiona’s comments, Mr. Eriksson stated that the CRC is planning to invite members of community groups to come in to discuss their special problems with the CRC and for the CRC to interact with them.
Ms. Ogouma asked about the possibility of tracking the volunteer hours of CRC members. Mr. Eriksson and Mr. Ueland mentioned that it is a common for organizations to keep track of volunteer hours, but it is generally expected that volunteers keep track of their own hours.
Mr. Ueland suggested that there should be a formal training program each year for both new and continuing CRC members.
X. General Discussion
Mr. Handelman asked about the efforts made to publicize the CRC meeting in the Sellwood community.
Mr. Alan Osborn of League of Women Voters suggested that CRC revisit the use of the taser as a policy issue for review.
Vice-chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 8:05 p.m.