NEW USE OF FORCE REVIEW BOARD RECEIVES APPLICANTS, NOT GUIDELINES
Chief Foxworth's Use of Force Review Board (UFB) and Discipline Review Board (DRB) are currently being staffed--even though there still has not been any document released specifying exactly how they will function. These two new boards, modeled mostly on similar groups in Phoenix, are set up to review any use of force case to determine whether it was in or out of policy, and propose the level of discipline on any finding of misconduct. They will base their decisions on police detectives' investigations. The boards will consist of three assistant chiefs, two "peer officers," the officer's commander, and three citizens.
The application process was announced in late June, with forms available only at police precincts and a deadline of July 1. On July 21, the Portland Skanner printed an announcement that the deadline was extended until August 1--but only those who already had applications could apply.
In May, members of Portland Copwatch, the League of Women Voters, the National Lawyers Guild, the Latino Network, and former CRC vice chair Denise Stone met with Assistant Chief Prunk, who is designing the Boards.
When asked why he had only spoken to two Chief's advisory groups (the Community Police Organizational Review Team [CPORT] and the Chief's Forum) about the topic instead of people in those communities affected by police misconduct, he said, "Oh, the special interests?"
We further urged Prunk, as we had CPORT and the IPR/CRC, to find ways to integrate these review boards with the CRC. Even though these are "internal" boards reviewing cases for possible misconduct (in place of the current Review Level Committee), the people on these boards will need the same kind of training and will be making the same kind of policy recommendations as the CRC. A formal relationship should be established between the CRC and these new boards so that the system is holistic. After all, many shootings and other use of force cases begin as simple traffic stops.
IPR Director Rosenthal claimed a person would have to resign from CRC to be on the Use of Force Review Board. Howver, Chief Foxworth asked him to invite CRC members to be part of the UFB, and Rosenthal agreed.
Perhaps some of the 15 people who will rotate through the UFB/DRB can also participate in the CRC. These 15 people might be useful on CRC sub-committees, and the committees could keep each other--and the public--informed of important policy and training issues under review.
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