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November 16, 2004

 
Minutes
 Citizen Review Committee
  November 16, 2004
 
Approved December 21, 2004
 
CRC Members Present: Ric Alexander, Gwenn Baldwin, Loren Eriksson, Hank Miggins, Donna Oden-Orr (arrived 6:20 p.m.),  Lewellyn Robison, Tracy Smith, Robert Ueland
 
Absent: Irma Valdez
 
City Staff Present: Gary Blackmer (City Auditor), Richard Rosenthal (IPR Director), Michael Hess (IPR), Lauri Stewart (IPR)
 
Portland Police Bureau members present:  Captain George Babnick (Training Division), Commander Michael Crebs (Tri-Met Division, formerly of the Training Division), Officer Paul Ware (Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator)
 
The meeting was called to order by Chair Miggins at 5:40 p.m.
 
I.     Introductions
 
II.    Unanimous approval of 9/21/04 CRC minutes with two minor amendments: removal of the word “unanimous” from approval of 8/17/04 minutes and a name correction in the public comments section. 
 
III.  Director’s Report (Director Rosenthal)
 
  • Congratulations to Irma Valdez, who had a baby boy.
  • Use of Force & Performance Review Board Citizens’ Training started three weeks ago.  They are meeting every Wednesday for three hours and will continue to meet through January.  Originally there was to be a spot for all CRC members interested in attending this training, but due to a miscommunication the class got filled with provisions for only four CRC members of the five who were available to attend.  This training will be repeated in approximately six months to a year.  At that time, any remaining members of the CRC who have not yet attended will get this training.  The goal is for all CRC members to be on the citizen pool for the Use of Force & Performance Review Boards. 
  • 2004 CRC Recruitment:  It will not be possible to select new members and get their name to Council for confirmation before the December meeting.  The members who are currently serving will continue to serve until they are re-appointed or replaced.  The new mayor and new commissioner have been asked to give us their nominations for new members.  The CRC may want to reschedule the retreat from January to February in order to include new members.  
  • The Early Warning System review will not get underway immediately.  Lillian Dote, IPR Management Analyst, has several other projects she needs to work on over the next several weeks.  As soon as Ms. Dote and Pete Sandrock are able to obtain performance auditor training, they will be ready to start work on the Early Warning System review.
  • The Chief’s Forum recently held a special session on racial profiling.  There was an excellent presentation by the Director of Research for the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) on what she referred to as “racially biased policing” (rather than “racial profiling”).  Racial profiling was the second highest item on CRC’s list of policy issues.  Thus, at a future meeting, someone from the Bureau will be asked to come in and discuss how the Bureau is currently addressing this issue.  Prior to that discussion, CRC members will be provided access to the PERF presentation and the report of the Chief’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Racial Profiling.    
  • CRC Appeal No. 2004-X-0003 (regarding a man arrested at a war protest) was sent back to IAD with a request by CRC for further investigation.  The complainant’s attorney initially agreed to make the complainant available for an IAD interview.  Since that time, the attorney has scheduled and cancelled three separate interviews.  The attorney subsequently advised Mr. Rosenthal that he is focused on settling the civil case and no longer believes an IAD interview is necessary, but he would make his client available after the City Council has approved the settlement.  IAD decided to submit the investigation as is to the commander for findings, advising the attorney that his client may contact IAD when the civil case is concluded, and IAD will then determine if an interview is necessary.  The complainant will be advised of the findings and any right to appeal if the findings are not sustained.
  • Update on CRC Appeal No. 2004-X-0007:  After an IPR review of the criminal trial testimony related to this complaint, the case was returned to the commander for additional review, with a recommendation by the IPR Director for a different finding.  The commander decided not to change the finding, so we are proceeding with the pre-hearing on this appeal.  A second appeal was received today, and this appeal will also tentatively be scheduled for a pre-hearing in December.
 
IV.  Officer Paul Ware gave a presentation on the Police Bureau’s Crisis Intervention Training (CIT).  Approximately 140 officers are fully trained in CIT.  The Police Bureau’s AdvancedAcademy provides 16 hours of CIT to newly hired officers.  The CIT curriculum makes heavy use of scenarios and job simulation.
 
(Donna Oden-Orr arrived at this point.)
 
V.  Commander Crebs, former Captain of the Training Division, gave a presentation regarding the training of officers on de-escalation techniques.  The 40 hours of required in-service training for all officers this year will include two hours of crisis intervention refresher training.  Commander Crebs emphasized that Police Bureau’s goal is to train officers in tactics that will lead to the prevention of escalation as opposed to de-escalation.  The importance of “verbal de-escalation” is stressed in training, with emphasis on the “three Ts” of “Time, Talk, and Tactics.”  Commander Crebs reviewed the various levels of control and force and various principles of defensive tactics, such as the action/reaction principle and the use of distraction.  Commander Crebs emphasized that the Training Division integrates a holistic approach in all of its training programs.
 
(After hearing and responding to the above presentations, the CRC agreed to set over to the December meeting a discussion on whether to move on to the next policy item and decided to postpone discussion of the racial profiling issue until the January meeting.)
 
VI.  Director Rosenthal presented an overview of the IPR-CRC program for the community participants in this meeting.
 
VII. The CRC invited the community participants in the meeting to provide input on the following question:  “If there was one thing you could change (or keep the same) about how the Portland Police Bureau serves your community, what would it be?” 
 
  • Debra Staneart suggested that there should be more officers on foot in her community.  She was concerned that the signage on storefront police offices has been removed due to vandalism.
  • Victor Flaming noted that the process sometimes falls apart with Neighborhood Response Team (NRT) officers working with community members to deal with neighborhood problems.  He suggested that the community policing relationship between the police and the community needs to improve.
  • Virginia Davis suggested that police officers enlist the help of community members in dealing with the mentally ill.  She feels reassured by police presence  in her neighborhood and recommended that more police should be walking the streets at the times when children leave school.
  • Richard Koenig expressed his concern that police officers have a better knowledge of law and the Oregon Constitution.
  • Dan Handelman stated that the Police Bureau needs to build trust in the community and realize that everyone wants to go home at the end of the day, not just police officers.  He believes the police need to demilitarize.  He suggested that IAD should be removed from the investigation of citizen complaints and that this work should be turned over to independent investigators.
 
VIII.  Gwenn Baldwin led a discussion of the upcoming CRC/IPR retreat   It was agreed that the retreat should be moved from January to February to accommodate the delay in the selection of new CRC members.  Ms. Baldwin suggested a weekend half-day facilitated retreat.  Some members expressed concern about whether a half-day retreat would be sufficient.
 
Ms. Baldwin suggested the following elements for the retreat: 
  • An exercise aimed at the CRC members and IPR staff getting to know each other better;
  • Discussion of the structure and location of CRC meetings;
  • Development of benchmarks or performance expectations of the CRC; and,
  • A session on working effectively.
 
The retreat planning committee (Gwenn Baldwin, Loren Eriksson, Tracy Smith, and Lauri Stewart) will meet either in person or through e-mails and bring their suggestions to the next meeting.
 
IX..  New Business:  Lewellyn Robison and Hank Miggins discussed the recent National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement) NACOLE Conference in Chicago.
 
X.  Public Comment:  Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch and Flying Focus Video);  Richard Koenig; Devra Staneart (Southeast Uplift); Virginia Davis.
 
XII.  Wrap-up Comments:  Ric Alexander thanked the community members who attended the meeting.
 
Meeting was adjourned by Chair Miggins at 8:37 p.m.