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Council Votes to "Re-fund the Police"... Sort Of;
Rehired Cops Must Have Clean Records

On November 17, facing unprecedented pressure from media outlets and a mysterious Political Action Committee, the City voted to add money into the Police Bureau budget just over a year after "defunding" it by $15 million (PPR #81). To be fair, which is difficult here, the City is in the [image of WillametteWeek article]process of being required by the US Department of Justice to fund body cameras for police, hire a civilian to oversee the Training Division, and provide a line-item budget for officers to use overtime to attend trainings (doj article). These items will cost roughly $3 million.

During about six hours of public testimony (the first chunk of which was made up of people invited by Council) on November 10, a majority of people questioned why the City was pouring more money into the police. Some people came on with legitimate concerns about public safety, while others sounded more alarmist about the cleanliness of downtown with often overt anti-houseless rhetoric. Some of this latter testimony may have been prompted by the shadowy group "People for Portland," which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, conducted polls without nuance ("do you support body cameras yes or no?") and ran ads pushing their agenda to bolster the police. One such television ad deliberately pitted Commissioner Mingus Mapps, an African American man, against Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, a Black woman, saying Mapps supports public safety but Hardesty does not.

[image of Skanner article]One key point of contention is the Bureau's plan to re-activate the "retire/rehire program," where cops who decide to leave and take their pensions can come back to work and collect a salary as well. At least two officers involved in this program committed high profile acts of misconduct-- one made racially offensive remarks after the death of Quanice Hayes in 2017 (PPR #77) and another used his car for personal travel (PPR #80). The men on the council (Mapps, Commissioner Dan Ryan and Mayor Ted Wheeler) had the votes to undo the work of the female majority last year (Hardesty and now-former Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Chloe Eudaly). Sensing she would not be able to end the program, Hardesty put forward an amendment saying the officers could not have sustained complaints against them or have retired while they were being investigated for misconduct. The amendment passed, but the program will cost about $400,000 to implement. Other new funds were allotted to boost PPB recruitment and training staff, totalling about another $1 million.

  [People's Police Report]

January, 2022
Also in PPR #85

2021 Portland Police Shootings Quadruple 2020
  • State Deadly Force Incidents Taper Off in Second Half of 2021
City, DOJ Hash Out Remedies for Failed Compliance
Council Votes to "Re-fund the Police"
Lawsuits: City Pays Out More for Protest Actions
Citizen Committee Punts Whistleblower Case
Commission to Design Oversight Board Meets
Chief Overrides Review Board to Punish Two Cops
Houseless Community Faces More Private Security
Force Data Ignores Race at Training Council
Sheriff's Last 12 Months Start w/Vax Card Scandal
Organizers Set for Testimony on Terror Task Force
Bureau Agrees with Copwatch on One Policy
Updates PPR #85:
 • Almost No Progress on Police Association Contract
 • Suit: Former Police Assoc. Head Leaked Unconfirmed Info
 • Revamped Gun Team Forming; Profiling Numbers Unchanged
Rapping Back #85

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 #85 Table of Contents
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