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August 19, 2008

Minutes

Citizen Review Committee

August 19, 2008

 

Approved September 16, 2008

 

 

Meeting Location:  Lovejoy Room, Portland City Hall

 

CRC Members Present:  Michael Bigham, Loren Eriksson, JoAnn Jackson, Mark Johnson, Hank Miggins, Robert Milesnick, Lewellyn Robison

 

CRC Member Absent:  Josephine Cooper (excused), Sherrelle Owens (excused)

 

City Staff Present:  Gary Blackmer (City Auditor), Mary-Beth Baptista (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR); Maria Rubio (Mayor's Office)

 

Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

 

I.    Introductions and welcome

 

II.   Approval of the Minutes of the 7/15/08 CRC Meeting: Mr. Johnson moved to approve the minutes as written.

      Mr. Eriksson seconded. The motion carried, 6-0 with one abstention (Mr. Miggins)

 

(Ms. Cooper and Ms. Owens, who were not present, had emailed proposed amendments to the minutes.  Chair Bigham informed CRC that amendments to the minutes must be presented as a motion at the meeting. If a member is not present to do so, a motion may be made at a future meeting.)

 

III.  Director's Report (Director Baptista)

 

IPR Work Plan: manage the caseload; publish 2007 Annual Report; support CRC workgroups; conclude the interview process and choose an Assistant Director; with the assistance of Hank Miggins, review the incoming Communication Plan Request for Proposals.

 

IPR Accomplishments: completed first round interviews for the full-time assistant director/investigator position; finished and posted IPR "Communication Plan Request for Proposal"; completed IPR Quarterly Report for the Second Quarter;

 

IPR Caseload: the number of pending cases at IPR has spiked in the past month. This is a temporary situation that should be remedied in the coming months with the hiring of a new Assistant Director.   

IAD Caseload: a table summarizing the IAD caseload over the past three months was provided.

 

IPR Monthly Reports: current report and reports for the previous two months will be posted on the IPR website.   

 

Appeals:  no appeal requests on citizen complaints have been filed so far this year. No appeals are pending.

 

Announcements: the Portland Police Bureau Citizen Police Academy will take place September 30 through December 16, 2008.

 

IV.  Workgroup Updates

 

Bias Based Policing Workgroup (Mr. Miggins).  At their last meeting the workgroup met with a team from Portland State University that is working on a project on racial bias that the workgroup is considering participating in.  A draft workgroup report has been prepared based on the minutes of the second last meeting. 

 

PARC Report Review Workgroup (Chair: Michael Bigham).  The workgroup has completed its work on the preliminary worksheet regarding PARC recommendations, and this has been sent to PARC.  Merrick Bobb of PARC is interested in meeting with the workgroup, but the dates he will be in Portland are not yet known.  The next meeting of the workgroup will be on Tuesday August 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  

 

Service Complaint Workgroup (Chair: Mr. Johnson).  The workgroup met last month and continued its discussion about the work plan and scope of the workgroup.  Derek Reinke has been asked to provide the workgroup with the  instruments that were used for the previous file review, and these will be reviewed and discussed at the next workgroup meeting on August 21.   

 

Tow Policy Workgroup follow-up (Mr. Eriksson).  The Police Bureau has issued revisions to its tow policy (Vehicle Disposition Directive 630.60) to implement recommendations #1, 5, 8, and 9 of the Officer Use of Vehicle Towing Report. 

 

V.   Tracking List Update: Chair Bigham asked CRC members to identify items on the tracking list that are already

      accomplished and send these to Ms. Owens so she can remove them from the list.

 

VI.  Old Business

 

The committee to discuss intergovernmental agreements regarding the Transit Police Division has held its first two meetings.  Mr. Miggins, Mr. Bigham, and Ms. Baptista are members of this committee.   The outside agencies have agreed to cooperate with internal investigations of Portland officers in which members of their agencies were witnesses.  Director Baptista stated that the other agencies are accepting accountability for investigating incidents involving their officers through their own internal investigative channels.  Another meeting of this committee is scheduled for the end of this month. 

 

Mr. Eriksson reported that Assistant Chief Martinek has responded to CRC's requests regarding the Use of Force and Performance Review Boards.  The Police Bureau has publicly released the names of the current pool of board members.  The question of more comprehensive training for peer members, this has not yet been addressed.  Members of the Performance Review Boards will now receive notification of the outcome of cases as Use of Force Review Board members have in the past.  For reasons of confidentiality, the Police Bureau has not accepted the recommendation to present to the Chief a listing of how each member voted.  Regarding the question about the cultural diversity of the citizen membership pool, demographic data is not currently kept, but citizens will be asked to voluntarily provide this information. 

 

Follow-up on recommendations of the Luna-Firebaugh report.  Ms. Rubio from the Mayor's Office said that a decision had been made to wait on scheduling a work session until Council had been apprised of how the recommendations were going to be prioritized after the new IPR Director was on board and had time to develop a plan.  Director Baptista said that she had planned to be ready to discuss IPR's response to the recommendations by October or November and she hoped that by then CRC would also have had time to develop a plan to address this.  Chair Bigham suggested, and the other members agreed, that a new workgroup should be formed to formulate a plan to present to the Council.  Mr. Johnson, Ms. Jackson, and Mr. Bigham volunteered to serve on this workgroup.    

 

Chair Bigham said that he had sent letters to the commissioners about having specific CRC members assigned to them as liaisons.  Director Baptista said she has met with all the commissioners and requested that each of them meet personally with their CRC liaisons, at least for their initial meeting. 

 

Mr. Miggins requested that the CRC minutes be consistent in reporting whether CRC absences are excused or not excused.  It was decided that whenever an absence is excused, it will be so noted in the minutes.  It was also agreed that it should be documented in the minutes when members arrive late or leave early. 

 

Ms. Robison asked for feed-back on whether CRC members want to go forward with having a retreat.  It was decided that there should be another retreat and that it should be scheduled in March or April of 2009 after the new CRC members are on board.  Mr. Bigham and Mr. Eriksson agreed to work with Mr. Robison on planning the retreat. 

 

VII.  New Business

 

None.

 

VIII. Public Comments

 

Mr. Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch) questioned what happened with the remaining tow policy recommendations that were not included in the recent policy revisions.  He said that the description of the community outreach position sounds more like a public relations position, and he expressed concern that the request for proposals was not sent to the IPR public notification email list.  He said that the Transit Police Divisions statement that they are going to require officers from other agencies to provide information about incidents they are involved in is basically what is done now.  He announced that the next issue of the Copwatch newsletter should be available before the next CRC meeting. 

 

Ms. Beverly Robinson, a community member attending her first CRC meeting, told the CRC members that they need to project their voices more so that people in the audience can hear what they are saying.

 

Mr. Richard Koenig said that he sent a letter to IPR on July 17 seeking to be fully informed before deciding whether or not to file a complaint in the instance where a police officer will not take a crime report against Sheriff Giusto for official misconduct. 

 

Mr. Ben Philow, a member of the Committee for Appropriate Enforcement for Motor Vehicle Laws espoused the right of the general public to use the highway for their vehicles. 

 

Mr. Peter Rideout supported the argument that the use of the highway is a matter of right for the general public.    

 

IX.  Wrap-up Comments by CRC Members:

 

Mr. Miggins suggested that at a future meeting, prior to the public comment period, there should be a brief description of what public comment is.

 

Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 6:43 p.m.