Citizen Review Committee
February 9, 2011
Date Approved: March 9, 2011
Meeting Location: Lovejoy Room, 2nd Floor, Portland City Hall
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), Loren Eriksson, Andre Pruitt, Ayoob Ramjan, Rochelle Silver, Steve Yarosh
CRC Members Absent: Hank Miggins (excused)
City staff: LaVonne Griffin-Valade (City Auditor), Constantin Severe (IPR Assistant Director), Irene Konev (IPR Community Outreach Coordinator)
Police Bureau: Captain Dave Famous (IA), Captain Todd Wyatt (Traffic Division), Lieutenant Eric Schober (Traffic Division); K9 Division officers
Community/Media: Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch and Flying Focus Video), Regina Hannon (Portland Copwatch), other unidentified community members
Approval of Minutes of the 1/12/11 CRC Meeting
A motion was made to approve the minutes. Mr. Troy seconded. Dr. Silver noted that, in addition to being a member of the CRC Outreach and Taser Workgroups, she is also a member of the Appeals Workgroup. She also pointed out a minor typographical error in the Old Business section of the minutes. The minutes were unanimously approved as amended.
Lieutenant Schober and K9 Unit officers made a presentation on the Portland Police Bureau’s K9 Unit.
Director’s Report (presented by Assistant Director Severe)
Independent Police Review (IPR) Division Work Plan / Accomplishments:
Director Mary-Beth Baptista will be out of the office from Friday, 2/11/11, through Monday, 5/9/11, on Family Medical Leave. Assistant Director Constantin Severe will be directing IPR in her absence. Assistant Director Pete Sandrock and Severe will alternate sitting on the Police Review Board, based on case assignment, during her leave.
The Auditor recommended and City Council confirmed four CRC nominees on Wednesday, 1/2/11. The new members were sworn in by the Auditor at an informal welcome reception immediately following the Council session. Congratulations to Mr. Michael Bigham, Mr. André Pruitt, Dr. Rochelle Silver, and Mr. Steve Yarosh.
IPR Community Outreach Coordinator Irene Konev and Assistant Director Constantin Severe are planning an orientation program for the new and returning CRC members. The tentative program includes three public sessions.
IPR Community Outreach
Community Outreach Coordinator Konev attended and networked at Colored Pencils, City of Portland’s Fix it Fair at Parkrose High School, Open House for Latino Network, Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce Monthly Networking Event, and Portland Police Bureau Awards Ceremony at David Douglas High School. IPR staff hosted meetings at IPR and explained the commendation and complaint process to the director of El Programa Hispano and to the Mayor’s Director of Public Safety and Peacekeeping.
Ms. Konev attended informational meetings at 211 Info Portland, Latino Network, and at two homeless programs - JOIN and Loaves and Fishes. She built awareness of IPR with Slavic store owners and worked with the CRC Outreach Workgroup to plan the next Community Public Forum scheduled to take place in the spring.
IPR staff participated in a three-hour intercultural competence follow-up training, where through role plays, they practiced communication skills with Portland’s diverse population.
IPR and IAD Caseloads: See caseload tables in Director’s Report.
CRC Chair’s Report (Chair Bigham)
Nothing to report.
Tracking List: Mr. Bissonnette gave an update on the Tracking List. He asked CRC members to review the list and email him with their ideas on which items on the Tracking List are still issues that CRC wants to deal with. Mr. Bissonnette suggested setting aside approximately twenty minutes on the agenda of the next CRC meeting to discuss the Tracking List.
Chair Bigham assigned Mr. Yarosh to work with Dr. Silver as liaison to Commissioner Fritz. Dr. Silver will also be Mr. Yarosh’s CRC mentor. Chair Bigham assigned Mr. Pruitt to work with Mr. Bissonnette as liaison to Commissioner Fish. Mr. Bissonnette will also be Mr. Pruitt’s CRC mentor.
Dr. Silver asked to have the CRC Contact List corrected to reflect current Internal Affairs assignments.
Dr. Silver mentioned a recent news story that the Police Bureau is considering the possibility of switching to a different type of Taser. Dr. Silver asked if CRC would want to “weigh in” on this. Chair Bigham suggested inviting someone from the Training Division to provide an update on this. Captain Famous offered to contact Commander Day to try to arrange for someone from the Training Division to make a presentation at next month’s CRC meeting.
Dr. Silver mentioned another recent news story about an officer who Tased a man who had fallen asleep at a Denny’s restaurant. Dr. Silver asked if CRC should somehow address things that are reported in the media. This led to a general discussion of the power and duties of IPR and CRC and the ability of IPR to initiate independent complaint investigations.
Appeals Workgroup (Mr. Troy): Last meeting was 1/19/11. While working on Protocol 5.16 (City Council Appeals Protocol), the workgroup discovered some discrepancies in the IPR Ordinance. The workgroup will be working with the Auditor and IPR to address these discrepancies. In the meantime, the workgroup will move on to Protocol 5.21 (Appeal Process Advisor). The next two meetings will be on 2/22/11 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3/21/11 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mr. Troy’s office.
Outreach Workgroup (Mr. Bissonnette for Mr. Miggins): Last meeting was on 2/9/11. The workgroup will meet again Wednesday 2/16/11 at 3:00 p.m. in the Audit Services Library to finalize preparations for the next community forum, which in all likelihood will take place on the evening of 3/30/11 at Parkrose High School.
Protocol Workgroup (Mr. Troy for Mr. Miggins): Last meeting was on 1/13/11 at Mr. Troy’s office. The workgroup discussed Protocol 5.18 (Policy Review Protocol).
Assistant Director Severe has offered draft a new version of this protocol for the workgroup’s consideration. The next meeting will be on 2/24/11 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Mr. Troy’s office.
Recurring Audit Workgroup (Mr. Ramjan): The workgroup has completed its work on Service Improvement Opportunities. The workgroup needs more members. The next meeting has not yet been determined.
Taser/Less-lethal Force Workgroup (Mr. Bigham): Last meeting was an Executive Session on 1/18/11, at which time a specific Taser case was reviewed and discussed with IPR. The next meeting will be on 2/15/11 at 11:00 a.m.
Mr. Handelman objected to a police dog being brought to tonight’s meeting without advance notice. Mr. Handelman discussed a pepper spray/flashlight device that was invented by a Portland Police Bureau officer and is reportedly being considered for use by the Police Bureau. Mr. Handelman supported the idea of looking at cases involving officers after they have been adjudicated in a civil suit. Mr. Handelman encouraged IPR to conduct some independent investigations.
Ms. Hannon complimented Dr. Silver for her comments at tonight’s meeting about looking at cases that surface in the media. Ms. Hannon expressed the opinion that the City of Portland is misguided in its budget priorities.
An unidentified community member reiterated the concerns expressed by Ms. Hannon.
Assistant Director Severe stated that he is looking forward to working with CRC in his role as acting Director.
Auditor Griffin-Valade thanked everyone for their service.
Dr. Silver welcomed the two new CRC members.
Mr. Yarosh said that he prefers to receive CRC-related emails on his work email.
Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 7:30 p.m.