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Since April, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has only sent out one set of Directives for public review, despite their previous practice of asking for input on a monthly basis. The eight policies posted in June included a number that were mostly internally focused. Portland Copwatch (PCW) emphasized its commentary on two: Directives 631.70 about animals and 313.70 about "associations."

The first, titled "Investigation of Animal Problems," has instructions on "Destruction of dangerous and/or destructive animals." This heading and subsections refer to the act of killing animals, considered by many to be family members, as "destroying" the animal, as if it were an inanimate object. We suggested more appropriate language. Furthermore, the caution to "exhaust all other practical means of containing or capturing the animal" appears after the list of reasons it would be acceptable to kill a family pet/companion using a firearm; if the order were reversed it would emphasize de-escalation. Options could be offered such as retreat, containment, or allowing an animal's owner who's not posing a threat to officers to calm the animal down. The Directive also requires an After Action Report to be written, but doesn't specify that supervisors should be called to the scene of an animal being shot, as they would with any other police use of force, nor does it direct them to forward the Report to Internal Affairs.

The second Directive, whose official title is "General Conduct--Associations," talks about how important it is for the police to "build trust" and thus should not engage in continuous associations with persons who are subject to felony investigations or convicted of felonies within 5 years. What's not addressed is how some officers continually contact people in such situations as a form of harassment, when the people have already served their jail time and are trying to avoid contact with police so they can get their life back on track. The policy also implies that associating with such persons is less odious if it is for a "family or social relationship" and a supervisor approves the officer mingling with the person in question. We suggested that if an officer has any reason to connect with such a person, the Bureau should list criteria the supervisor might use to judge the nature of the relationship.

PCW made only minor comments on Directives on unpublished phone numbers, maintenance of Bureau facilities, files, and "Custodial Interference," declining to comment on 640.32 "Abandoned Baby Procedures" and 060.40 "Personnel Orders." We suggested the Bureau release a proposed final draft before implementing any policies to give the community one more chance to set them on the right path. In total, the Bureau has put up 112 Directives for review and Portland Copwatch has commented on 86 of those. We still have not received direct feedback on any of our comments.

  People's Police Report

September, 2016
Also in PPR #69

Police Shoot At, Miss One
  Other Oregon Shootings--2 Per Month
DOJ Staff, Board Ask for Divorce
Chief Shoots Friend, Steps Down
Review Board Faces Changes
Police Oversight Report Has Less Info
May Day 2016: Small Police Presence
Sheriff Staton Hits the Trail
Profiling: "Gang" Arrests, Stop Data
Cops Plan More Homeless Sweeps
Training Council Recommendations
Mayor Secretly Negotiates Contract
PPB Policy Review at Slow Crawl
Updates PPR 69
  • PPB May Let Cops See Body Cam Footage
  Police Use Pole Cameras
  Copwatchers Receive Settlements
  Entrapped Man Appeals Terror Ruling
Legal Briefs: Evidence, Phones, Cops
Quick Flashes PPR 69
  Officer in DUI Flips Car in Crash
  Cop Sprays Dog Walker
Rapping Back #69

Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

People's Police Report #69 Table of Contents
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