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October 21, 2008

Minutes

Citizen Review Committee

October 21, 2008

 

Approved November 18, 2008

 

 

Meeting Location:  Lovejoy Room, Portland City Hall

 

CRC Members Present:  Michael Bigham, Josephine Cooper, Loren Eriksson, JoAnn Jackson, Mark Johnson, Hank Miggins, Sherrelle Owens, Lewellyn Robison

 

CRC Member Absent:  Robert Milesnick (excused)

 

City Staff:  Gary Blackmer (City Auditor), Mary-Beth Baptista (IPR Director), Constantin Severe (IPR Assistant Director) Michael Hess (IPR Deputy Director)

 

Police Bureau:  Captain John Tellis (IAD)

 

EnviroIssues Consultants:  Ann Pressitin and Peter Ovington

 

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

 

I.  Introductions and welcome

 

II.  Approval of the Minutes of the 9/16/08 CRC Meeting:  Mr. Eriksson moved to approve the minutes. Mr. Miggins seconded. Motion carried, 8-0.

 

III.  Director's Report (Director Baptista)

 

      IPR Work Plan:

 

•  Director / Assistant Director and 3 CRC members will attend the NACOLE Conference October 26-October 30.

•  Work with EnviroIssues Consulting to develop IPR's Outreach/Communication Plan.

•  Manage case load.

•  Support the CRC workgroups, including staffing the Performance Review Workgroup.

•  Assist IAD in the hiring process of two additional IAD investigators.

•  Pick the selection committee and the interview panel for the 2009 CRC Open Member Recruitment.

•  Release the 3rd Quarterly Report

 

IPR Accomplishments:

 

•  2007 Annual Report was presented to Council on October 8, 2008.

•  2008 CRC Recruitment was launched on October 1, 2008. The recruitment announcement was printed in the Metro Section of the Oregonian and in the Mercury, and was posted on neighborhood websites.

 

IPR Caseload:  Although the number of pending cases at IPR has increased significantly, 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.

 

Appeals:  The complainants for IPR/IAD Case Number 2008-C-0047 requested an appeal, but after review IPR determined that it did not have jurisdiction. The alleged misconduct occurred more than 13 months prior to the filing of the complaint, and at the time of the incident the officer involved was not a member of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). According to the City Ordinance, appeals are limited to investigations of conduct that was committed by officers during their employment by the City of Portland. There are two cases currently eligible for appeal. 

 

Announcements:  CRC is currently recruiting for volunteers to serve on CRC. Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 31.

 

IV. Presentation:  Ms. Cooper presented a summary of the August 6, 2008, Sisters of the Road Meeting on the Sit-Lie Ordinance and homeless issues. There followed a discussion of CRC outreach to homeless populations. Mr. Bigham said that he and Mr. Eriksson met with Marc Jolin of JOIN, a local organization that does outreach to the homeless community, and invited him to come and speak at a CRC meeting. Mr. Jolin was not willing to do that, but he was willing to have CRC go to JOIN at SE 17th and Powell and talk to them about the mission of CRC and IPR. Director Baptista said that in some cases we need to go to where the people are to let them know what we can do for them instead of having people come to us to tell their story. Mr. Bigham brought up the confusion, especially among homeless persons, between Portland Patrol Incorporated (PPI) security guards and Portland Police Bureau officers because of the similarity of their uniforms. Mr. Eriksson suggested that PPI might be invited again to present to CRC. He said they were once invited but did not accept. Captain Tellis said that he believes that Central Precinct has an officer assigned as a liaison with PPI. Captain Tellis agreed to ask Commander Reese who the liaison officer is.

 

V. Workgroup Updates

 

Bias Based Policing Workgroup (Chair: Ms. Owens)  The workgroup finished meeting to review the preliminary data from the file review, and the plan now is to postpone any more meetings until the draft interim report is put together. At that point the workgroup will reconvene to review the draft in preparation for presenting the interim report to the full CRC. Derek Reinke estimates that the draft will be ready in approximately three weeks.    

 

PARC Report Review Workgroup (Chair: Michael Bigham).  The workgroup sent its preliminary results to Leslie Stevens at the Police Bureau and asked if she could get it back to them by today with her comments. She assigned it to Sergeant Marshman, who returned it to her on Monday, but Mr. Bigham has not received it back from Ms. Stevens yet. The meeting that was scheduled for 10/28/08 will be rescheduled.     

 

Case Handling Workgroup (Chair: Mr. Johnson).  The workgroup is in the process of reviewing its preliminary set of files. The next meeting is scheduled for 11/6/08 at 1:30 p.m. At that time the workgroup will begin discussion of the results of the preliminary file review.   

 

Performance Review Workgroup (Chair: Ms. Jackson).  The workgroup has held its second meeting and is moving forward. The purpose of the second meeting was to begin to focus on some of the recommendations and issues surrounding                         those recommendations. Mr. Johnson has organized and expanded the initial outline. There was discussion of the complaint process, mediation, policy development, staffing and training issues, outreach, and the need for transparency. One of the charges this workgroup has taken on is the suggestion that CRC members should have a longer term, possibly three or four     years, as well as the possible expansion of CRC. The overall intent of this workgroup is to put together a draft of the recommendations of CRC and how CRC will respond to the Performance Review report. The workgroup had initially hoped to have the draft completed in December, but the City Council has made it clear that they would just like to see an outline of what CRC is working on and do not expect to see a comprehensive report by then. The next meeting of the Performance Review Workgroup is scheduled for 11/6/08 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

 

Protocol Workgroup (Chair: Ms. Robison).  The workgroup met on 9/29/08. An updated status report was provided in the CRC packet. The workgroup is starting to work on two protocols. The first protocol the workgroup will begin working on is PSF-5.12, Workgroup Protocol. The second protocol the workgroup will be working on is PSF-5.18, Policy Review Protocol. Ms. Robison provided CRC with a draft of Procedures for a CRC Members to Present the Hearing Report at Appeal Hearings. Discussion of this draft will be discussed at the next CRC meeting. The next meeting of the Protocol Workgroup is scheduled for October 22, 2008 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. All workgroups are encouraged to discuss and come forward with revisions to any protocols that are relevant to issues their particular workgroups are working on.       

 

Retreat Workgroup (Chair: Ms. Robison).   Marilyn Shepherd has reserved the Water Treatment Laboratory for the CRC Retreat on Saturday February 28, 2009. The facility has been reserved from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., which would allow for a four-hour meeting and time for set-up and clean-up. It is thought that it will not be necessary to hire an outside facilitator this time.  The workgroup needs the input of CRC members as to what topics or activities they would like to have at the retreat. Possible ideas are: working on interpersonal relationships; conducting effective meetings; refresher training on confidentiality and public meeting laws; discussion of new PPB policies and procedures; a briefing on the about the PPB Office of Accountability and Professional Standards. Responses were requested by November 4. CRC members were also asked to consider if they would like to schedule more than four hours for the retreat. The next Retreat Workgroup meeting will take place one-half hour before the next PARC Workgroup meeting, whenever that is scheduled. 

 

Outreach Workgroup (Chair: Mr. Miggins).  Mr. Miggins worked with the planning consultants from EnviroIssues. Mr. Miggins suggested that the Outreach Workgroup review the consultants' draft report before it is presented. Director Baptista will get back with CRC on the timeline for the draft after her next meeting with the consultants.

 

Tow Policy Workgroup (Mr. Eriksson).  The Tow Policy Workgroup members (Mr. Eriksson and Mr. Bigham) were invited to a meeting about the Police Bureau's response to the recommendations of the workgroup, particularly regarding the recommendation about police impounds of vehicles that homeless persons are living out of. The Police Bureau is conducting research to find out if there are any other programs in the nation that address this problem. Another meeting will be scheduled to further discuss this issue.       

 

VI. Tracking List Update (Ms. Owens).  Ms. Owens led a discussion of the tracking list. It was suggested that there be columns added to the tracking list showing the disposition of items on the list and the date they are completed. There was a consensus that the size of the tracking list needs to be reduced. Mr. Miggins pointed out that the tracking list was intended merely to serve as a memory tool, not to create a new project. It was suggested that when any items are dealt with, for example by being assigned to a workgroup, they should be taken off of the list. Ms. Owens suggested creating a second list of items that have been dealt with and taken off the tracking list so that there remains a record of these items. Director Baptista suggested that each workgroup review the tracking list and determine whether or not the items have been dealt with.

 

Ms. Owens said that at the last meeting the CRC members agreed to individually review the list and get back with her on which items had been dealt with, but this did not happen.  Ms. Owens suggested that review of the tracking list continue to be placed on future meeting agendas to ensure that items that need to be addressed are not ignored.    

 

VII. Old Business:  Ms. Jackson thanked Ms. Owens for her diligence in working on the tracking list.

 

VIII. New Business:

 

Mr. Eriksson announced that he and Mr. Bigham are scheduled to meet with Commissioner Leonard next month.  Ms. Jackson and Ms. Robison said that they have been having difficulty in scheduling a meeting with their commissioner despite repeated efforts.  Ms. Cooper said that she has tried to get in touch with Mayor through the people who were suggested as contacts but she also has had no response.  Auditor Blackmer said that the Mayor and commissioners have been informed that their CRC liaisons would be contacting them to arrange for a meeting with them.

 

Chair Bigham said that CRC plans to present the IPR/CRC quarterly report to City Council to City Council in January.

 

IX. Public Comments

 

Ms. Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters):  Ms. Aiona commended the CRC workgroups for the work they have been doing.  Ms. Aiona encouraged CRC to meet with persons who work with the homeless community to listen to their concerns. Ms. Aiona reminded everyone that the top seven policy issue items listed on the tracking list were a result of thoughtful deliberation at the last CRC retreat.   

 

Mr. Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch).  Mr. Handelman expressed concern that CRC is not asked for its input before new Police Bureau directives are issued. Mr. Handelman was concerned about a new Police Bureau directive that lists conditions when police do not have to give 24-hour notice before evicting people from homeless campsites. Mr. Handelman stated that employees of Portland Patrol Incorporated (PPI) are inappropriately enforcing the Sit-lie Ordinance by telling people to move on rather than merely informing them and then turning it over to the police. Mr. Handelman suggested that the Ombudsman's Office might be the appropriate office to process complaints against PPI security officers. Mr. Handelman encouraged CRC to keep a separate list of completed tracking list items so that there will be a history of what has been accomplished. Mr. Handelman asked about the status of a previously proposed public advisory committee to the Training Division.   

 

X. Wrap-up Comments by CRC Members:  Ms. Owens agreed with the suggestion of keeping a record of the completed items on the tracking list.

 

Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 8:03 p.m.