March 26, 2005:
NOTE: The Joint Terrorism Task Force Memorandum of Understanding is not currently under consideration by City Council. Instead, they have proposed a resolution calling for the Commissioner of Police, the Chief of Police, and the City Attorney to have the same level of clearance as the officers on any Federal Task Force. That resolution is going before council on
Wednesday, March 30, 2005 at 6 PM At City Hall.
Below is the background information as it stood in late 2004 before Mayor Potter and
Commissioner Leonard proposed this new, ground-breaking resolution which has prompted the
FBI to declare there will be no such clearance granted (wouldn't want our elected officials to
actually have access to what their employees are working on, now would we?), and the
Oregonian to publish at least four editorials wondering why the Council just doesn't
wait until the PJTTF is proven to have violated people's rights before demanding oversight.
Information for 2004 City Council Hearing on renewal of the
Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF), POSTPONED AGAIN UNTIL 2005 (as of 12/20/04):
(Contains some of these same documents in .pdf format, background information
and sample letters to City Council)
http://www.aclu-or.org/issues/terrorism/pjttf/PJTTFTalkingPoints121004.htm The ordinance renewing Portland's participation in the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF) was scheduled for a vote at City Council on Wednesday, December 22 but has been postponed until 2005.*
Our main concern is that Portland police officers who are deputized will violate ORS 181.575, the state law which prohibits the collection or maintenance of information on anyone without reasonable suspicion that they are involved in criminal activity.
This year's memorandum has a few changes, the most significant of which is that Portland now only has two full-time officers assigned to the PJTTF (rather than 1 Lieutenant, 1 Sergeant, 5 officers, and one non-sworn staff as in the past).
Although the Mayor and the Police Chief are now deputized, it is very unclear whether they have access to review the actual files being generated by Portland Police working with the PJTTF.
In an August letter to the Mayor, we (along with the ACLU, the League of Women Voters and the Japanese American Citizens League) asked a number of specific questions.
In her September reply, she stated "It is not appropriate for me to be any more specific with regard to the types of files and investigations to which I will have access," and "It is not appropriate for me to discuss any aspects of specific investigations, on-going or otherwise."
If you wish to write to the Mayor and City Council in advance of the December 22 hearing to let them know how you feel about deputizing Portland officers for the task force, their contact information is below.
Portland, Oregon City Council:
Mayor Tom Potter
Commissioner Sam Adams
Commissioner Randy Leonard
Commissioner Dan Saltzman
Commissioner Erik Sten
*From the Council Agenda on December 20:
1483 TIME CERTAIN: 10:30 AM – CANCELED. THIS ITEM WILL BE RESCHEDULED, DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED. Authorize Memorandum of Understanding and Reimbursement Agreement with the Portland Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to participate in the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (Ordinance introduced by Mayor Katz).
Page updated 5/4/05
To 2003 PJTTF documents page
To Portland Copwatch overflow page
To Portland Copwatch home page