Citizen Review Committee
September 14, 2010
Date Approved: October 13, 2010
Meeting Location: Room C, Portland Building
Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm.
Introductions and Welcome
CRC Members Present: Michael Bigham (Chair), Jamie Troy (Vice-Chair), Jeff Bissonnette (Recorder), Lindsey Detweiler, Loren Eriksson, Ayoob Ramjan, Lewellyn Robison, Rochelle Silver.
CRC Member Absent: Hank Miggins (excused)
City staff: LaVonne Griffin-Valade (City Auditor), Mary-Beth Baptista (IPR Director), Constantine Severe (IPR Assistant Director), Robin Springer (Mayor’s Office)
Police Bureau: Captain Ed Brumfield (Professional Standards Division), Lieutenant Eric Schober (IAD), Lieutenant Robert King (Training Division)
Community/Media: Dan Handelman (Portland CopWatch and Flying Focus Video), Regina Hannon (Portland CopWatch) Stan Lane.
Approval of Minutes of the 8/11/10 CRC Meeting
Dr. Silver noted that Stan Lane, a community member, attended the 8/11/10 CRC meeting but was not mentioned in the minutes. Mr. Bissonnette added Mr. Lane to the minutes. The minutes were then approved by consensus, with an abstention by Chair Bigham, who did not attend the 8/11/10 CRC Meeting.
Presentation by Lieutenant Robert King regarding Upcoming CRC Training
Lieutenant King reviewed the proposed outline for CRC training. Training sessions tentatively will be scheduled on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for five weeks. City Council Chambers have been reserved for the training so that other guests and Police Review Board members may be able to attend if so desired.
Mr. Ramjan agreed that a demonstration of handcuffing, control holds, and takedowns would be of value. Mr. Eriksson asked to be shown the shields that are now being used and equipment and tactics used by the Rapid Response Team in crowd control situations. Ms. Detweiler requested information on how officers are trained to write police reports. Mr. Troy asked for information on the medical transport policy and Police Bureau training of officers on documentation of injuries incurred during police interactions. Mr. Troy also suggested that one of the mental health crisis counselor who rides with police officers be included in the training. Dr. Silver asked that the training be videotaped for members who cannot attend all the sessions. Dr. Silver asked that there be some information presented on what types of flexibility and discretion officers have in performing their duties. Mr. Bissonnette agreed with Mr. Troy that he would like to have some information about medical transport and when other resources are to be brought in to assist. Mr. Bissonnette also thought that cultural competency training would be of value, if not during the upcoming training, at a future time. He said he would also like to know what officers are taught about the meaning of community policing. Ms. Robison asked for clarification of the relationship between the use of force and mere conversation, given that the force continuum at one time included the mere presence of a uniformed officer as the first level of control. Ms. Detweiler asked if members of the public would be welcome to attend the training, and Lieutenant King affirmed that the training will be open to the public. Mr. Handelman suggested inviting persons who will be presenting the civil rights perspective to this training so that they can hear what the Police Bureau point of view is, to help them in making a more informed presentation to CRC.
Independent Police Review Division (IPR) Work Plan / Accomplishments:
Ordinance Implementation - Police Review Board (PRB): The PRB, which was created as a result of the recent ordinance changes, serves as an advisory board to the Chief of Police and replaces the Performance Review Boards and the Use of Force Boards. Also as a result of the recent ordinance creating the PRB, community members serving on the board are now recommended by the City Auditor and approved by City Council. Recruitment of new civilian members of the PRB began last month. The City Auditor requested that interested community members submit applications. City Auditor Griffin- Valade, Portland Police Bureau Lieutenant Eric Schober, IPR Assistant Director Constantin Severe, and Review Board member Loren Eriksson interviewed prospective PRB members on their willingness to be unbiased and actively participate in board meetings. Selected community members’ names were forwarded to City Council, and the new civilian members of the PRB were approved on 8/25/10. Director Baptista served on an IPR and IAD panel that chose facilitators for the Police Review Board. Three facilitators were chosen and facilitator training was provided by the Police Bureau and the IPR Director.
IPR Community Outreach
Community Outreach Coordinator Irene Konev made presentations to the staff of the Avel Godly Center for Healing and to members of the Albina Ministerial Alliance. Director Baptista made a presentation to a delegation from Latin America through the World Affairs Council. Ms. Konev attended and networked at the Mentor Brokerage Fair, Say Hey Northwest, and National Night Out at Fernhill Park. A meeting was held with business members in North Portland to expand awareness of IPR. Ms. Konev also coordinated a sit-along with the 911 operators, which she attended along with CRC members Jeff Bissonnette and Rochelle Silver.
IPR and IAD Caseloads: See caseload tables in Director’s Report.
Mr. Bigham asked if former Review Board members were no longer members of the Police Review Board. Ms. Baptista said that all former members were invited to re-apply. She said that about half of them did so, and they make up half of the pool.
Mr. Bigham asked about the status of CRC recruitment for the upcoming term. Ms. Baptista said that CRC recruitment will begin at the end of this month. Based on recommendations of CRC’s IPR Structure Review Report and the Stakeholders Committee, CRC recruitments will be for three-year terms. The ordinance will need to be changed to reflect this prior to the new members being confirmed by City Council. The three-year terms will not be retroactive for current CRC members.
Mr. Bigham asked for a review of the last Stakeholder Committee meeting. Mr. Troy said that the Stakeholder Committee worked on finalizing the list of recommendations that they were going to vote on. Ms. Baptista said that the final meeting of the Shareholder Committee would take place on 9/16/10.
CRC Chair’s Report (Chair Bigham): No Chair’s Report this month.
Appeals Workgroup (Mr. Troy): Last meeting was 8/30/10. The workgroup is continuing its work on Protocol 5.03. The next meeting will be on 9/27/10 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Mr. Troy’s office.
(At this point there was a discussion of the procedure by which the Auditor gives final approval to protocol changes put forth by CRC.)
Outreach Workgroup (Ms. Robison): Last meeting was 9/7/10. The workgroup continued to work on planning for the next public forum, which is scheduled for 10/28/10. The next three meetings of the Outreach Workgroup will be on 9/22/10, 10/6/10, and 10/25/10 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in City Hall
Protocol Workgroup (Mr. Troy): Last meeting was 8/25/10. The workgroup discussed three protocols unrelated to appeals. Protocol 5.07 will be brought back before the full CRC at the next meeting, so that Mr. Miggins may guide the process. The next meeting will be on 9/29/10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Mr. Troy’s office.
Recurring Audit Workgroup (Mr. Ramjan): Last meeting was 8/17/10. The next meeting will be on 9/20/10 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Audit Services Library.
Taser/Less-lethal Force Workgroup (Mr. Bigham): Last meeting was 8/24/10. Captain Brumfield arranged for Officer Forsyth from the Training Division to come in and talk to the workgroup about Tasers. The workgroup discussed Tasers and the training for Tasers. The next meeting will be on 9/28/10 at 4:00 p.m. in the Audit Services Library.
Tracking List: Ms. Robison said there was nothing to add.
Dr. Silver asked if anyone from CRC was planning to attend the next Community Police Relations meeting.
Dr. Silver asked how CRC was planning to express to the Police Bureau various issues of concern arising from a previous appeal hearing. Mr. Bigham suggested that he, Dr. Silver, and Mr. Troy meet to discuss a letter that would be sent to the Police Bureau on behalf of CRC. Mr. Troy read a letter that Dr. Silver had already drafted in this regard. Mr. Bigham suggested that, rather than sending a letter, it might be more productive for CRC to engage in a dialog with a representative of the Training Division regarding the way officers are currently trained to base their response to situations on the relative severity of the crime and the totality of the circumstances. Mr. Bissonnette suggested that the upcoming CRC training could be a vehicle for this type of dialog. There was a protracted discussion on whether or not a letter should be written. Ms. Baptista reminded CRC that the incident they were expressing concerns about happened more than four years ago, and Police Bureau training and policies are significantly different now. Mr. Bigham offered to draft a letter capturing CRC’s concerns.
Mr. Handelman suggested that when there is a long discussion like this that starts going around in circles, it would be helpful if someone would make a motion so that the discussion can be brought to a close faster. Mr. Handelman supported the idea of CRC writing a letter to the Police Bureau.
Mr. Troy asked if there was any follow-up on whether the Police Bureau accepted CRC’s recommendations on the last appeal. Director Baptista stated that the Police Chief had accepted the recommended changes, and she will provide the notice to CRC at the next meeting.
No new business.
Mr. Handelman asked that letters of response from the Police Bureau be included in the packets. Mr. Handelman said that he has learned from a meeting with the Mayor and the Police Chief that the Police Bureau is changing training to focus more on competence and confidence rather than fear-based training. Mr. Handelman was pleased that the upcoming CRC training will be open to the public. He was also pleased that the topic of mere conversation will be covered in the training. Regarding CRC protocol changes, Mr. Handelman suggested that if the Auditor decides to change anything that CRC has already agreed to, that these changes be brought back to CRC for discussion prior to being finalized and posted on the Internet.
Captain Brumfield made the point that the purpose of the training that is being developed for CRC is for CRC to get a better understanding of what police officers do and how they are trained. He urged CRC members to bring up to him, Lieutenant King, or Director Baptista any questions or concerns or other topics they would like presented. Captain Brumfield encouraged CRC members to schedule ride-alongs with police officers as an adjunct to the training sessions.
Director Baptista expressed her gratitude to Mr. Severe and Lieutenant King for their excellent work in putting together the CRC training. She confirmed that there is movement in the Bureau to accept the Chief’s new philosophy of training based on confidence rather than fear.
Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m.