THIRD QUARTER 1997 MONITORING REPORT
TO THE POLICE INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS
Monitoring Subcommittee Members & Staff
Robert Ueland, Chair
Lisa Botsko, PIIAC Staff
Approved by PIIAC Citizen Advisors
October 9, 1997
Submitted to City Council
October 30, 1997
1997 THIRD QUARTER MONITORING REPORT TO THE
POLICE INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS
The PIIAC Citizen Advisors Monitoring Subcommittee is responsible for
surveying cases handled by the Portland Police Bureau's Internal Affairs
Division (PPB/IAD) involving citizens and Police employees' complaints about
alleged police misconduct. The Subcommittee analyzes complaints, IAD's
investigations and Risk Management data to "highlight trends of police
performance, suggesting necessary Police Bureau policy and procedural changes.
Patterns of behavior, unclear procedures, policy issues and training needs may
be identified for review."
FOLLOW UP TO PREVIOUS QUARTERLY
Appended to this report as Attachment A is the
Chief's response to the Second Quarter 1997 report. We did not receive it in
time to prepare a summary and comments, so will make that a part of our next
As an update, PPB has accepted a previous
citizen advisor recommendation that the wording of disposition letters authored
by precinct commanders reflect IAD's role in case review.
IAD / PIIAC
I. PIIAC -- National
Model for Civilian Oversight
On July 31 PIIAC was featured in a 7-minute
story airing on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition." The number of
communities implementing some form of civilian review has increased tremendously
in recent years, and are not limited to large city agencies. (Portland continues
to be the only community in Oregon to have civilian review.) PIIAC staff has
received a steady number of requests for information from local governments
throughout the country, interested citizens, and most recently -- NIKE and the
U.S. Office of Treasury (with respect to President Clinton's proposal to
establish oversight of the IRS).
Communities are beginning to view the audit
model, which PIIAC utilizes, as an effective form of civilian review that
strikes a good balance between the competing interests of various stakeholders.
This was the theme of the NPR story, which referred to our program as
"innovative." For internet users who have RealAudio®, the broadcast can be
listened to directly from NPR's website at
http://www.realaudio.com/contentp/npr/nb7y31.html. (RealAudio® can be downloaded
for free from NPR's website for computers equipped with sound cards. That
website address is http://www.npr.org.) Tapes and transcripts can also be
ordered from NPR directly.
PIIAC has attempted to make its information more
accessible. In this day and age of technology, we have developed a website which
is linked to both the Commissioners' and Mayor's websites. Agendas, quarterly
reports and monthly meeting minutes can be posted with little effort. The
application form and job description for potential citizen advisors can be
downloaded from our site, and we are linked to the Portland Police Bureau's
Internal Affairs Division, where potential complainants can download a complaint
form and explanatory brochure. Our website address is
http://www.ci.portland.or.us/piiac, and we have registered our site with various
In related developments, Tucson recently adopted
a similar audit model and sent the newly-hired auditor and an assistant city
manager to Portland to study the PIIAC system. In early October, a researcher
from the Sam Houston State University's Criminal Justice System reviewed IAD
cases as part of a research project. The study is being funded by a grant from
the National Institute of Justice, and is designed to review the citizen
complaint process in six police departments across the country. Portland was
chosen because the process incorporates a civilian review mechanism, and because
the Police Bureau has readily agreed to provide access to the researchers. PIIAC
staff met with the researchers and has requested a copy of their final
In late October, a national expert and author on
civilian review systems, Dr. Sam Walker, criminal justice professor at the
University of Omaha, will be visiting Portland to study the PIIAC process.
II. Cases Appealed /
During the third quarter 1997, PIIAC advisors
processed 7 new appeals. The appeals and actions taken are as
PIIAC #96-18: City Council, acting as
PIIAC, voted to request that the Chief sustain the complaint against an officer
who wrote an informational report about his neighbor. (The report followed an
incident in which the neighbor's adolescent boys were making too much noise in
their back yard at an early morning hour.)
The Chief provided a written response to Council, indicating that he did not
accept the recommendation.
PIIAC #97-11: The appellant claimed that
he was mistakenly arrested during a prostitution mission; arresting officers
removed him roughly from his vehicle, and were discourteous while issuing a
citation and exclusion. Advisors determined that the investigation was thorough
and sufficiently supported the findings; the full PIIAC (City Council) accepted
the advisors' recommendations on appeal.
PIIAC #97-12: The appellant complained
about an incident in which he was struck by a neighbor's vehicle. He believed
responding officers did not sufficiently investigate and were at fault for not
arresting the driver. Advisors voted to affirm PPB's findings, and determined
that the investigation satisfactorily revealed that the officers did in fact
question appropriate parties, but did not make an arrest based on a lack of
injury to the appellant, and a belief that the collision was accidental. In
addition, the D.A. had declined to proceed on the complaint.
PIIAC #97-13: Advisors have requested
this case be returned for deliberation and reconsideration of findings with
PPB's Review Level Committee. That request is pending, due to the appointment of
two new Assistant Chiefs.
The case involves a 65-year-old man who was
stopped for a traffic violation. He claims he had difficulty retrieving his
license from his pants pocket, as his pants were tight and the officer would not
allow him to get out of his vehicle. The officer then decided to remove the
appellant himself, injuring him, and also struck the appellant in the face. The
officer says that the appellant was belligerent from the start and would not
cooperate. The appellant pulled the officer's arm inside the vehicle (with
engine running) when the officer attempted to remove him, causing the officer to
strike his chin on the top of the car. He applied two distraction strikes to the
appellant's face, which then enabled him to remove the appellant from the
vehicle. The appellant was identified, cited and released.
Advisors note that timeliness problems forced
IAD into relying on testimony given in depositions related to legal action
against the city. They also note a similar case that was sustained against an
officer, and are requesting more information from PPB's Review Level Committee
about the overall analysis of this complaint. PIIAC will be kept apprised of the
outcome of this review.
PIIAC #97-14: The appellant wanted
traffic charges dropped,and also protested the officer's demeanor. IAD declined
the complaint; in the absence of specific allegations of officer misconduct,
PIIAC advisors affirmed the declination.
PIIAC #97-15: Appellant alleges that he was cited for driving in a bus
lane after he went around police vehicles blocking the street, the officers
chatting with each other. He says that Officer A was rude and condescending, and
would not fully identify himself . (Police Bureau had sustained complaint on
improper procedure, with respect to officers blocking the street.) Due to
missing tapes and remaining questions, advisors voted to return the case to IAD
for re-investigation. That request is pending.
PIIAC #97-16: Appellant said an officer was rude and used profane
language during traffic stop. She claimed the stop was based on her ethnic
background. Advisors concluded that PPB review adequately established that the
officer had probable cause to stop her, and that the findings were
We monitored an additional 10
IAD investigations closed out during the second quarter. We monitor all closed
cases that fall into the following categories: use of force, disparate
treatment, complaints with sustained findings, and cases that went to PPB's
Review Level Committee. Cases with less significant allegations are not
routinely audited unless they are appealed.
Cases reviewed for monitoring reflected the
following types of allegations:(1)
Use of Force 7
Disparate Treatment 0
The findings reflected the following:
Insufficient Evidence 2
Use of Force Cases Audited:
The Use of Force cases reflected the following
Insufficient Evidence 0
Sustained complaints audited:
Precinct/division breakdown is as follows:
Southeast (Heisler/Grubbs) 2
Northeast (Orr) 0
East (Paresi) 0
North (Rictor) 0
IAD reports that they have received an unusually
high number of complaints this past quarter. The majority of these complaints
seem to deal with communication and courtesy issues. IAD has not been able to
pinpoint any specific reason for the increase in complaints. As time permits in
the following quarter, we will attempt to audit some of these cases in addition
to our regular work.
Communication and attitude complaints are
difficult to investigate. More often than not, the complainant and officer have
different perceptions of an event, with no neutral independent witnesses to
provide insight. We have observed that for the most part, the Bureau assesses
these complaints fairly and objectively, without giving the benefit of the doubt
to one party over another. But such complaints often end up with findings of
"Insufficient Evidence," which is appropriate, but frustrating to citizen and
officer alike. (During this past quarter we audited a case in which an officer
was accused of speaking discourteously to a citizen. IAD had secured a tape
recording of the actual conversation, and it was the impression of the auditors
that the officer used a tone of voice that conveyed impatience and sarcasm. The
citizen was not antagonistic or vocal at all, although did object to the manner
in which the officer addressed him. Yet, if no tape existed, the complaint might
seem petty, or perhaps the result of a biased, disgruntled citizen.)
To their credit, the Bureau includes such
complaints in their early warning system, Command Review. The Police-Citizen
Mediation process promises to be a satisfactory alternative to such complaint
review, and may ultimately prove cost-effective by helping to reduce these types
We would like to encourage the Bureau to
re-evaluate its training with respect to communication strategies. We know that
some communication classes are included in the annual in-service training, and
we also understand the need to balance such coursework with defensive tactics
training. However, as one officer said to us, "Communication is not taught as a
survival technique -- and it should be."
We recommend PPB examine the possibility
of expanding and adapting the CIT Training methods with regard to
communication. The Bureau's Crisis Intervention Training program, which
teaches officers to deal specifically with the mentally ill, concentrates
heavily on communication methods: body language, personal space issues, tone of
voice, things to say in different situations. It uses lectures and role-plays to
describe ways of de-escalating conflict and aggressive behavior, emphasizing the
need for officers to model the desired behavior, rather than match the
level of aggression. What strikes us about these techniques is that they
make sense for a variety of situations -- not just in dealing with the
mentally ill. Many officers instinctively use the techniques, or have learned
them through experience. In Memphis, Tennessee, where the model for the program
originated, statistics reflect a decrease in injuries to both officers
Yet we review complaints regularly that may have
been avoidable with better communication strategies. We have seen use-of-force
complaints that may be justifiable, but raise definite questions about what
transpired before the point where the force was used. We see complaints that
seem to result when the interaction turns into a "button-pushing"
Time taken from receipt of complaint to when the
case was closed out(4) ranged from 6 months to 19
months, with an average of approximately 7.5 months.
In addition IAD reports that with the recent
increase in caseload, four investigators simply cannot keep up. We
recommend PPB make a concerted effort to re-establish the fifth investigator
September 18, 1997
TO: Mayor Vera Katz
Police Internal Investigations Auditing
SUBJECT: Response to Second Quarter 1997
The Second Quarter 1997 Monitoring Report
was approved by the Citizen Advisors on July 10, 1997 and accepted by City
Council on July 16, 1997. Numerous recommendations were made in the report.
While some suggestions involve the internal "investigative process" others dealt
with administrative aspects about the handling of personnel matters after the
investigation is complete. This Memorandum addresses each of the specific
recommendations made by the Citizen Advisors to the Police Internal
Investigations Auditing Committee.
Use of force complaints, where the
force indeed occurred, should never be declined.
I concur with the reports' suggestions that
discussions should continue with Captain Bennington. I appreciate the
information provided and I accept the recommendation.
We recommend that corresponding G.O.
312.50 (Identification) is revised to reflect the new
The Identification G.O. 312.50 has been
flagged and will be updated to make it concurrent with G.O. 211.00 - Board on
Public Safety Standards and Training Identification Numbers.
We recommend that the Chief or his
designee, and the schedulers, adopt a timeliness goal of no more than 60 days
from the time Review Level Committee makes its recommendations to the time the
letter of proposed discipline is sent to the employee.
All areas concerning "personnel matters"
and the imposition of discipline should be done in a timely manner. The
requirements of "due process" and other outside factors, can cause delays in the
process. We will continue to monitor this issue and we will strive to ensure
that handling of "personnel" matters is done as expeditiously as staffing, and
"due process" allow.
We urge the Police Commissioner and
Chief to make the completion of G.O. 340.00 (Complaint and Disciplinary Process)
The General Order 340.00 (Complaint and
Disciplinary Process) has gone through various stages of revamping. This General
Order was renumbered and packaged with five other related General Orders. We
expect all general orders to be at the final draft stage and published in the
near future. The new GOs are as follows:
1. GO 330.00 Internal Affairs, Complaint
2. GO 341.00 Disciplinary
3. GO 342.00 Personnel Performance
Deficiencies and Non-Internal Affairs Rule Violations
4. GO 343.00 Criminal Investigation of
Police Bureau Employees
5. GO 344.00 Prohibited
6. GO 345.00 Early Warning
We recommend that the Bureau's
use-of-deadly-force investigative protocol include a mechanism for debriefing,
assessing, and providing feedback on the internal investigation.
We have a protocol for handling use of
deadly force investigations. This is covered by our G.O. 1010.10 (Use of Deadly
Force, Including Reporting Requirements) and the investigative protocols of the
Detective Division. Those protocols will not be changed at this time.
We recommend that any time a high-level
Bureau employee is investigated, a neutral party--perhaps an outside
agency--conduct the investigation. The Bureau should also seek recommended
findings from a neutral referee or body.
The ability for any Commissioner or Bureau
to seek outside assistance in a major investigation is known. While the requests
may be infrequent, we have assisted other Bureaus and Cities. Anytime a
Commissioner or a Bureau head felt that assistance is needed, local, state, and
federal agencies can be contacted. The individual Commissioners are in the best
position to determine if outside assistance is needed and they would be the
neutral party to determine findings.
We recommend PPB establish a protocol
for "debriefing" when a finding is changed after mitigation.
While the mitigation process normally only
deals with the level of discipline, I have, on rare occasions, reversed the
finding to not sustained. I meet daily with the Assistant Chiefs and provide
feedback when the situation occurs.
We also recommend that the Chief and
Review Level Committee discuss the best and most appropriate manner in which to
notify complainants in these situations.
We will continue to discuss the most
appropriate manner in which to notify the complainants. We will send out the
disposition letter after I accept the Review Level Committee's recommendation.
The complainant's will be advised if the outcome changes to "not sustained."
That PPB Officers be notified of their
right to appeal to PIIAC.
We accept the recommendation.
Charles A. Moose, Ph.D.
Chief of Police
cc: Commissioner Jim Francesconi
Commissioner Charlie Hales
Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury
Commissioner Eric Sten
1. Property: Allegation that
money, property, evidence and other valued items have been taken and not
properly accounted for, receipted, or placed in the Property Room.
2. Use of Force: Allegation of
excessive or inappropriate physical or deadly physical force (Refer to G.O.
3. Conduct: Allegations of
misconduct other than those more specifically defined by another category, which
tend to bring reproach or discredit upon the Bureau or City of
4. Disparate Treatment:
Allegations of treatment to an individual that is different from the
treatment of another because of
(b) Other: sex, age, national origin, sexual
orientation, economic status, political or religious beliefs, appearance,
handicap, etc. . .
5. Communication: Allegations
relating to attitude, rude conduct, or verbally abusive conduct other than those
addressed in the disparate treatment category.
6. Performance: Allegations of
work performance which fails to meet or conform with Bureau standards or
requirements of an administrative nature such as lateness, misuse of sick time,
7. Procedure: Allegations of
conduct which violates a General Order, Special Order, or order of a superior
officer and which are not more specifically addressed in sections (1) -
1. Unfounded: Claim is false.
Based on the facts of the investigation, there is no basis to the
2. Exonerated: Actions of the
officer were within the guidelines of Bureau policy and procedure.
3. Insufficient Evidence: There
was not enough evidence to prove or disprove the allegation(s).
4. Sustained: Officer found to
be in violation of Bureau policy or procedure.
5. Declined: Police Bureau
declines to conduct full investigation.
6. Suspended: Investigation is
suspended, usually because complainant fails to provide key
PPB definitions of allegations and findings are appended
to this report as Attachment B. We point out that statistics must be viewed with
an understanding that a single complaint may reflect multiple allegations and
findings, and may involve more than one officer.
Some cases resulted in different findings for more than
one officer; that is why the total number of findings is higher than the total
number of cases.
Both cases were suspended when complainants did not
respond to IAD's follow-up contacts.
A decision was rendered by the officer's commander or the
Bureau's Review Level Committee.