Portland's Police Chief Hears a Few ideas from Outside the
Portland Copwatch Meets with Foxworth
Introducing ourselves to the third Chief of Police since our formation in 1992, volunteers from
Portland Copwatch met with Chief Derrick Foxworth in early March. (For a report on our meeting
with Chief Kroeker, see PPR #21).
The good news is that home-grown Chief Foxworth liked our proposal that every time a Portland
Police Officer has an interaction with a citizen, they should offer a business card. The idea came from
Los Angeles, where a 1980 special order requires officers to give out cards when a person is detained
but not charged with anything. Chief Moose never did anything with the idea. Chief Kroeker claimed
that since he promised not to bring any Los Angeles style policing up here, he couldn't adopt that
policy. But then, why did he bring up L.A.-style crowd control and bad relations with communities of
We communicated to the Chief that our goals are a Police Bureau free of corruption, brutality and
racism, goals he said he shares although maybe our means of getting there are different.
We also asked Foxworth to consider restricting the use of Tasers only to incidents in which deadly
force would be justified, sharing a memo by the ACLU of Colorado (see Tasers article).
Foxworth had Captain Darrell Schenck of the Internal Affairs Division (IAD) sit in during the
conversation. Schenck re-emphasized that although the Tasers are included along the spectrum of
force in the same category as batons, the PPB no longer considers this a "continuum" of force since
they want officers to be able to jump from "mere presence" to deadly force and skip the other levels if
necessary. We're not convinced this is a good idea.
Foxworth also said he was going forward with plans to set up internal review bodies for Use of
Force, Performance, and Collisions, each with some kind of civilian membership. We noted that any
such change should include at least consultation by the Citizen Review Committee (CRC) and the
Independent Police Review Division (IPR), not to mention a City Council hearing for the public to
have input before any new review bodies are created.
The Chief was reluctant to promise that when officers from other jurisdictions come to Portland to
police special events, they should follow PPB procedure and have visible name tags on their
outermost garments. He said he would raise it in discussion but was reluctant to tell other agencies
what to do. Again, this was a disappointment since the PPB gives directions to other agencies
regarding arrests, use of force, and other tactical decisions.
As expected, this Chief--whose background includes being the Public Information Officer--showed
an eagerness to listen, a reluctance to make waves, and tried to tell us, to the extent possible, what we
wanted to hear. The Chief seemed interested in keeping a channel open for dialogue, so if any of the
readers of the People's Police Report are interested in any specific issues, please let us know.
We are hoping that any future discussions will come with plenty of lead time, and we have made it
clear that we are not negotiating on behalf of the community, just putting forward some ideas that
have come up in our organization.
Send your comments to us at email@example.com or
PO Box 42456, Portland, OR 97242.