Citizen Review Committee
November 20, 2007
Approved December 18, 2007
CRC Members Present: Michael Bigham (arrived at 6:10 p.m.), Josephine Cooper (arrived at 5:50 p.m.), Loren Eriksson, Hank Miggins, Robert Milesnick, Sherrelle Owens, Lewellyn Robison
CRC Members Absent: Robert Ueland (excused)
CRC Nominee Present: Mark Johnson
City Staff Present: Gary Blackmer (City Auditor) Leslie Stevens (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR)
Police Bureau Members Present: Commander Bret Smith (Northeast Precinct), Captain John Tellis (IAD), Lieutenant Eric Brown (North Precinct), Sergeant Robert King (Portland Police Association), Officer Barry Hosier (North Precinct)
Chair Miggins called the meeting to order at 5:39 p.m.
I. Introductions and welcome
Commander Smith presented a summary of the Curfew Pilot Project that was carried out in Northeast and Central Precincts during spring break. Lieutenant Brown and Officer Hosier presented a summary of the Enhanced Safety Program Pilot Project that is currently being implemented in North Precinct to assist landlords to reduce the incidence of crime on their rental properties. Mr. Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch and Mr. Alejandro Queral of the Northwest Constitutional Law Center participated in the discussion following these presentations.
III. Director's Report (Director Stevens)
• Appeals Update: In calendar year 2007, 59 cases have been eligible for appeal, 2 of which are still pending. Two new appeal requests have been received, one of which was dismissed due to lack of timeliness. (Appeal due date was October 1, and it was received on October 17.)
• Three new Police Bureau directives were issued in the past month: Changes to Taser Directive, Vehicle Pursuits, and Return to Work Policy.
• The Tort Claim Protocol was posted for public comment. No changes were made as a result of public comments received. Copies of the final Tort Claim Protocol will be provided in next month's packets.
• On 11/28/07 at 10:00 a.m. City Council will receive Auditor Blackmer's CRC nominations. Mark Johnson and JoAnn Jackson are the new CRC nominees.
• The Fall 2007 Quarterly Report has been issued. Work is beginning on the next quarterly report. If CRC members have anything they would like to include, they should let Director Stevens know.
• Marcella Red Thunder, whose CRC term was due to end on 12/31/07, has submitted her resignation to Auditor Blackmer.
IV. Approval of minutes of 10/16/07 CRC meeting: Ms. Robison moved to approve the minutes as written. Mr. Bigham seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with two abstentions.
Yes: Bigham, Miggins, Milesnick, Owens, Robison
Abstain: Cooper, Eriksson
V. Captain Tellis presented an overview of the recent changes to Portland Police Bureau Directive 330, including a discussion of findings definitions.
VI. Workgroup Updates
• Tow Policy Workgroup (Michael Bigham). The Officer Use of Vehicle Towing Report was distributed at the October meeting. Mr. Bigham has added a cover letter to the report. Three specific concerns were identified in the cover letter: the confusing numbering system of Police Bureau policies; predatory tow practices by private tow companies and operators; and a sliding scale based on the value of the towed vehicle. Ms. Robison made a motion to adopt the Towing Report and the cover letter. Mr. Milesnick seconded the motion. After public comment by Mr. Handelman, the motion passed unanimously. Mr. Bigham will present the report to City Council. Mr. Bigham suggested that after six months CRC should review the Police Bureau's response to the tow policy recommendations.
• Protocol Workgroup (Lewellyn Robison). The workgroup met on 11/19/07 to discuss the appeals process. Ms. Cooper proposed that the upcoming appeal hearing not be scheduled for the December CRC meeting so that a pilot project can be done to test a new procedure. Ms. Cooper made the following proposal: "The Protocol Workgroup proposes to test procedures before submitting draft revisions of Protocol 5.03 Appeals Procedures. Specifically, we propose that CRC review IPR and IAD case files and at the December meeting discuss the adequacy of the investigation, to include timeliness, completeness of files and tapes, adequacy and approach to witness interviews and all information it needs to hold a hearing." After discussion, this proposal was accepted. Director Stevens suggested that a decision on whether to schedule the appeal hearing for the January meeting be made following the December file review discussion. The case file for the upcoming appeal hearing (case number 2006-C-0505) is now available for CRC members to review. Ms. Robison announced that the next Protocol Workgroup meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 8, 2008, at 2:30 p.m.
• Bias Based Policing Workgroup (Sherrelle Owens). Ms. Owens provided the CRC members with the templates that are being used in the review process. Three different reviewers were to review 32 cases each by the end of December. However, the workgroup has lost a member, so Ms. Owens asked if anyone else would like to volunteer to serve on the workgroup. Since no members were able to volunteer at this time, Ms. Owens informed the group that both new CRC nominees have expressed an interest in serving on this workgroup, but Mr. Mark Johnson was more available at this time. Director Stevens said that she would propose that Mr. Johnson be sworn in on the day of Council confirmation so that he can finish Ms. Red Thunder's 2007 term as of November 28 and may begin serving on the Bias Based Policing Workgroup. The deadline for the completion of the file review has been pushed back from December 31 to a date as yet undetermined. Ms. Owens was scheduled to make a presentation about the Bias Based Policing Workgroup at the November 15 meeting of the Mayor's Racial Profiling Committee, but that meeting was postponed. Ms. Owens's presentation has been rescheduled for the December meeting of Mayor's Racial Profiling Committee. The next workgroup meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 13 at 12:00 noon.
• PARC Report Review Workgroup (Michael Bigham). The workgroup met on October 22. Derek Reinke of IPR prepared a form for the workgroup to use to review the PARC recommendations. Each workgroup member will review 18 of the 54 recommendations of the 2003 PARC Report to determine whether the recommendations that the Police Bureau accepted have been followed through on. The workgroup plans to ask the Police Bureau for the status of the 2005-2006 supplemental items. The workgroup will also examine several unnumbered suggestions in the PARC report to determine what has happened with these. The next workgroup meeting is scheduled for December 3 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. [Later rescheduled for Monday, January 14, 2008 at 12:00 noon.]
• Outreach Workgroup (Chair Miggins). The first meeting of the Outreach Workgroup was canceled, and the meeting has not yet been rescheduled. Chair Miggins proposed that CRC meetings be scheduled in City Hall for at least the next three months. By that time there should be a proposal from the workgroup regarding subsequent meetings. Ms. Robison and Mr. Milesnick spoke in favor of holding all CRC meetings in City Hall. Ms. Cooper said she has done personal outreach by providing presentations about CRC to classes at Portland State University. Ms. Cooper is continuing to work on arranging for an Interactive Theater event with CRC.
VII. Director Stevens said that comments of the Protocol Workgroup have been received and incorporated the draft Mediation Protocol PSF 5.09. The final draft will be posted on the IPR website for public comment for 30 days. Any CRC members who would like to provide comments may do so during this time period.
VIII. Tracking List Update: Mr. Milesnick said he has not yet created a tracking spreadsheet. The only tracking item to be added from tonight's meeting is the six-month review of the Tow Policy Workgroup.
IX. Old Business
Ms. Owens asked if a date has been set for training on issues that CRC members have expressed an interest in. Director Stevens said this training will be provided by the City Attorney's Office after both new CRC members have begun their terms.
X. New Business
Mr. Milesnick reiterated his preference to have all CRC meetings in a centralized location, such as the City Hall, where there are fewer disruptions to conducting business, and public transportation is more accessible. Ms. Owens suggested that a component of CRC's outreach efforts might be for CRC to attend already scheduled meetings of other groups. Director Stevens said that IPR will help if there are groups that CRC wants to partner with or locations they would rather meet, but in terms of practicality, she would prefer to have the CRC meetings in City Hall since there is no IPR community outreach coordinator at this time. The consensus of CRC members was to schedule CRC meetings in City Hall for at least the next three months, as Chair Miggins had earlier proposed. Ms. Cooper asked CRC to consider alternative ways to set up the meeting room. Ms. Robison said that a room set-up was agreed upon for hearings, but not for regular meetings. Ms. Owens suggested that any ideas that members have for room set-up be given to Chair Miggins for discussion by the Outreach Workgroup.
XI. Chair Miggins said that, after reviewing TriMet Division contract, he is concerned that police officers assigned from other jurisdictions are not required to follow the rules of the Portland Police Bureau. Chair Miggins is preparing a letter addressing his concerns, which he will send to CRC members before the next meeting for their consideration.
XII. Public Comments
• Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch) objected to the decision to drop Insufficient Evidence from Police Bureau findings. Mr. Handelman supported CRC's decision to have a file review before the next appeal hearing is scheduled. Mr. Handelman announced a December 6 community forum with the consultant who is reviewing IPR. The forum is being cosponsored by Portland Copwatch and the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center.
• Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters) encouraged CRC to invite speakers with different perspectives when complex issues are being presented. Ms. Aiona was pleased that CRC has decided to have a file review prior to scheduling a hearing. She thought that the combination of a pre-hearing discussion and having an appeal process advisor will increase the quality of hearings and will lead to greater satisfaction. Ms. Aiona encouraged CRC to further examine the consolidation of the Police Bureau's findings, comparing these to other cities and perhaps make a recommendation to the Police Bureau to reconsider their decision to change the findings.
Chair Miggins noted that the ACLU is collecting data about the curfew pilot project. Chair Miggins turned over to Ms. Owens gender- and ethnicity-based data from the curfew project that was produced for ACLU by the Chief's Office.
XIII. Wrap-up Comments
Happy Birthday to Hank Miggins!
Chair Miggins adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m.