Citizen Review Committee
November 18, 2008
Approved January 6, 2009
Meeting Location: Lovejoy Room, Portland City Hall
CRC Members Present: Michael Bigham, Loren Eriksson, JoAnn Jackson, Mark Johnson, Hank Miggins, Robert Milesnick, Sherrelle Owens, Lewellyn Robison
CRC Member Absent: Josephine Cooper (excused)
City Staff: Mary-Beth Baptista (IPR Director), Constantin Severe (IPR Assistant Director) Michael Hess (IPR Deputy Director)
Police Bureau: Captain John Tellis (IAD), Sergeant Michael Marshman (OPSA)
Community Members: Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters), Dan Handelman (Portland CopWatch)
Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.
I. Introductions and welcome
II. Approval of the Minutes of the 10/21/08 CRC Meeting: Mr. Eriksson moved to approve the minutes. Mr. Johnson seconded. Motion carried, 8-0.
III. Director's Report (Director Baptista)
IPR Work Plan
• Work with EnviroIssues Consulting to develop IPR's Outreach/ Communication Plan. Submit a draft for CRC/public comment
• Manage case load.
• Support CRC workgroups, including staffing the "IPR Structural Review" workgroup (formerly know as the "Performance Review" workgroup).
• Present to City Council an outline/prospectus of what the workgroup hopes to address and achieve.
• Review CRC Open Member Recruitment applications and participate in the interview panel. Application review began on Monday, November 17, and will conclude on Friday, November 21st, 2008. Finalist interviews are tentatively scheduled for December 3rd and 4th.
• Participate in the recently reconvened "Force Task Force."
• Reconvened the "Force Task Force" November 18, 2008 as recommended/ reported in the 2007 Annual Report.
• Released the 3rd Quarter - Quarterly Report and hand-delivered a copy to each City Commissioner's chief of staff.
• CRC Recruitment review and interview panelists were selected. Members of the Application Review Committee include: current CRC members Loren Eriksson and Sherrelle Owens and former CRC member Eric Terrell; and community members Debbie Aiona of League of Women Voters and Helen O'Brien, Program Coordinator for the Victims Assistance Program in the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office
• CRC members Loren Eriksson, Joann Jackson and Mark Johnson, along with IPR Director Baptista and Assistant Director Severe attended the NACOLE conference in Cincinnati last month.
IPR Caseload: With the addition of the new assistant director, Constantin Severe, there has been a reduction in the backlog of cases
IAD Caseload: a table summarizing the IAD caseload over the past three months was provided.
Appeals: There are two cases currently eligible for appeal.
Announcements/Outreach: Portland Tribune "Hotseat" interview with Director Baptista resulted in positive press for IPR and CRC and will assist in accomplishing our goal of educating the community of the work that we do and the services we provide.
Captain Tellis stated that IAD has hired two new investigators. One of the new investigators will begin next week, and one will begin in December. This will create a stable work force of six civilian investigators, since the civilian investigators cannot be redeployed.
IV. Workgroup Updates
• Bias Based Policing Workgroup (Chair: Ms. Owens) The draft report may be ready by 11/19/08 for the workgroup to review and may be ready for the full CRC to review by their next meeting.
> Next meeting: Not yet scheduled.
• PARC Report Review Workgroup (Chair: Michael Bigham). The workgroup will be meeting tomorrow at noon and will discuss putting together an interim report and recommendations. Mr. Eriksson said that they anticipate that the Police Bureau will provide a response.
> Next meeting: 11/19/08 at 12:00 noon.
• Case Handling Workgroup (Chair: Mr. Johnson). The workgroup is continuing its review of its first sample of files, which are cases involving complainants who protested the handling of their complaints or responded to the closing letter with additional questions or concerns. When the file review is finished the workgroup will make some suggestions and hopes to have a report for the full CRC. The workgroup will then move on to reviewing the next sample of cases, which will include of IPR dismissals, IAD declines, and service complaints.
Mr. Miggins, citing the lack of appeals for some time, suggested that CRC might consider conducting a survey of cases that were fully investigated, questioning complainants about their level of satisfaction. Mr. Milesnick expressed concern about confidentiality issues and the appropriateness of CRC members sending surveys to complainants. Director Baptista suggested that this should be a topic for the Case Handling Workgroup rather than for the Outreach Workgroup. If the Case Handling Workgroup chooses to take on this task, Director Baptista asked that they develop this idea into a formal plan based on the work they are doing and present it to her in proposal form, at which time she would look into the confidentiality issues. However, she advised that the workgroup should first finish what it has started before taking on additional tasks. Ms. Owens proposed that a discussion of gauging consumer satisfaction with the complaint process be included as a retreat topic.
> Next meeting: 12/10/08 at 12:00 noon. Agenda to be provided.
• Performance Review Workgroup (Chair: Ms. Jackson). This workgroup has changed its name to the IPR Structure Review Workgroup. The workgroup has decided to focus on six primary areas: complaint process, mediation, policy development, staffing and training issues, outreach, and the need for transparency. The entire last meeting was spent discussing the complaint process and putting together recommendations and comments. In future meetings, they will continue this process with each of the other five areas and will then prepare a draft report. At one point the work group had hoped to have a draft report for the Mayor and City Council to review before the end of the year, but the workgroup now realizes that it will take longer to prepare the report. However, there will be a brief presentation to City Council, tentatively on 12/17/08.
> Next meeting: 12/4/08 from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. Agenda: Discuss the City Council presentation and continue to formulate recommendations for remaining five focus areas.
In response to a question from Ms. Robison, Ms. Jackson confirmed that the IPR Structure Review Workgroup will be formulating recommendations that could result in goals for CRC for the coming year. The workgroup will try to have some recommendations ready by the time of the 2009 CRC retreat.
• Protocol Workgroup (Chair: Ms. Robison). The workgroup has not met for some time. However, Ms. Robison asked CRC to decide whether or not to go forward with testing the process of having CRC members present the hearing report at appeal hearings. Ms. Robison also asked CRC to consider if the draft guidelines that were provided at the last meeting are acceptable to the CRC members.
After discussion, Ms. Robison made a motion that two CRC members present the hearing report at a future appeal hearing as a test procedure. Mr. Johnson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The procedures for CRC members to present the hearing report were changed as follows: Reverse the numbering of Sections 3 and 4. Amend Section 3 to read: With IPR support, a CRC member will present a written synopsis of the case to include a brief statement of the allegations and the PPB response.
> Next meeting: Not yet scheduled.
• Retreat Workgroup (Chair: Ms. Robison). The Water Treatment Laboratory has been reserved for the whole day of Saturday February 28, 2009. The workgroup is still open to receiving further input from CRC members on what they would like to have at the retreat. It is envisioned that most of the retreat will be dedicated to working on next year's goals, along with some refresher training on confidentiality, public meeting law, record keeping, etc. Director Baptista asked CRC to consider scheduling time at the retreat for discussion of outreach.
• Outreach Workgroup (Chair: Mr. Miggins). The workgroup has decided to defer meeting again until the draft report from the planning consultants has been made available.
> Next meeting: Not yet scheduled.
• Tow Policy Workgroup (Mr. Eriksson). Mr. Eriksson asked Sergeant Marshman to summarize a meeting that took place earlier with the Police Bureau, JOIN, and Mr. Eriksson and Mr. Bigham. Sergeant Marshman said that he checked with Parking Patrol about the procedures for towing abandoned vehicles and the City Attorney's Office about any possible legal issues. The Parking Patrol said that it takes them a minimum of thirty days to remove an abandoned vehicle, so if a homeless person is occupying the car, they receive well over 72-hour prior notice. The City Attorneys suggested that the Police Bureau not get involved in abandoned vehicles enforcement because all the Police Bureau would do anyway is to notify Parking Patrol, at which time the standard procedures would then take place. The possibility of automatically notifying JOIN when an abandoned vehicle is referred to Parking Patrol was also discussed.
> Next meeting: Not yet scheduled.
V. Tracking List Update (Ms. Owens). Ms. Owens has received a lot of feedback from CRC members. She has not yet finished incorporating this feedback into the tracking list. Ms. Owens said it would be helpful in the future to be more specific about projected completion dates of items on the list. Ms. Owens will email the amended tracking list to all CRC members when this is completed so that it can be reviewed and discussed at the next CRC meeting. Ms. Baptista suggested that a topic of discussion at the retreat might be how the tracking list could be used as a goal-setting instrument.
VI. Old Business:
• Mr. Bigham sent a letter on behalf of CRC to Mr. John Hren of the Portland Patrol Incorporated (PPI), inviting him to attend a CRC meeting to explain the scope and duties of PPI. If Mr. Bigham does not receive a response from PPI he will pursue other avenues to try to get a response, such as the Portland Business Alliance or the PPI's liaisons within the Portland Police Bureau.
• Ms. Robison said that she and Ms. Jackson met with Commissioner Fish on 11/17/08. They set up quarterly meetings with him and invited him to the January 2009 CRC meeting, and he agreed to attend if possible. Ms. Jackson described the meeting with Commissioner Fish as a "swimmingly good" meeting. She said that Commissioner Fish was very receptive to her suggestion that the Fire Bureau might be able to assist in outreach by distributing brochures in the community, for example.
• Mr. Eriksson said that he and Mr. Bigham met with Commissioner Leonard last month. They discussed CRC matters and Commissioner Leonard's recent Public Safety Report.
• Mr. Bigham said that Ms. Baptista and he had the opportunity to serve on the IAD investigator interview panel.
• Mr. Johnson, Ms. Jackson, and Mr. Eriksson gave a brief summary of their experience in attending the NACOLE Conference. All agreed that attending the conference was a very beneficial experience.
• Ms. Jackson said that she is considering going back to work full-time. She said that if this happens, she will probably not be able to attend daytime meetings. She asked CRC members if they thought that would be a problem. Ms. Baptista suggested that Ms. Jackson's workgroups could be scheduled at times that would not interfere with her work schedule, such as late afternoon or evening hours. The CRC members agreed that they were flexible as to meeting times.
• Mr. Johnson said that he would not be available to attend the retreat on 2/28/09.
VII. New Business:
Ms. Owens said that her CRC term will expire on 2/9/09, so she suggested that CRC consider who would take over the chairmanship of the Bias Based Policing Workgroup and for the responsibility for manage tracking list. Mr. Bigham suggested that the workgroup choose a new chairperson from the existing workgroup. He said that another member will be assigned the tracking list responsibilities.
VIII. Public Comments:
• Ms. Debbie Aiona (League of Women Voters): Ms. Aiona reminded CRC that it is not necessary for the workgroups to meet in City Hall. She suggested that another possible place that IPR/CRC quarterly reports and brochures could be distributed would be the coffee tables in the entryways of the commissioners' offices. She supported Mr. Miggins's suggestion to try to find out more about how complainants view the complaint process and why the number of appeals has decreased.
• Mr. Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch). Mr. Handelman asked why the Use of Force Task Force is not holding public meetings. He asked Ms. Baptista if there would be any problem with CopWatch and League of Women Voters sharing the outreach draft report with other organizations. Mr. Handelman thought it was a good idea to bring in an IAD investigator from San Francisco who is not a former PPB officer. He expressed concern that new members who are selected for CRC be provided the necessary training to bring them up to speed. He expressed concerned that the discussion with the Police Bureau about the towing of vehicles of homeless persons only addressed abandoned vehicles and not the towing of vehicles in other circumstances. Mr. Handelman expressed his satisfaction with the IPR Director's decision to begin including the appeal request form with mailings of disposition letters.
IX. Wrap-up Comments by CRC Members/IPR Staff: Ms. Baptista responded to Mr. Handelman's question about the consultant's draft by stating that for the sake of transparency the draft report will treated as a public document.
Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 7:15 p.m.