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Bureau Promises Training Advisory Council
Deeper Dive on Force Data

The presentation on use of force in Q1 2023 by outgoing Force Inspector Lt. Pete Helzer on July 12 was minimal. However, the ensuing discussion from the Training Advisory Council led to a promise from Inspector General Mary Claire Buckley that the police will conduct a more thorough analysis of the data based on the TAC's recommendations. TAC members backed off of starting up a "Task Force" to work on the issue, so it'll be interesting to see whether the Bureau remembers past questions about why so many Black people are subjected to force, the July question asking whether force is more likely depending on what kind of interaction led to the police presence, and more. The July meeting was the first with an in-person component since before COVID broke out in 2020; modern technology allowed community members to join without having to enter the Portland Police Bureau (PPB)'s training facility on Airport Way. The all-virtual May meeting was mostly made up of a presentation by the Bureau's Equity and Inclusion Office.

Despite several members' keen interest in the demographic data, Helzer did not mention that the percentage of Black people subjected to force remains at 26% after having fallen to 20% about a year ago (PPR #89). The question about what kinds of interactions lead to use of force also raises questions about why there is proportionally more use of force against Black people than how often they're taken into custody, which was only 23% of all custodies in Q1.

[July TAC meeting]The TAC also wondered about how body cameras might be used to improve training, with one member claiming the cameras would only be used when a complaint is filed. Those with more knowledge recognize that the police will use the cameras more to prosecute community members than to hold officers accountable (also see Updates).

The end of the July meeting saw the Council reaffirm their Task Forces on the Advanced Academy, Restorative Justice and Quality Improvement, and re-starting the group that will look at training on crowd control (for which they unfortunately mirrored the PPB's new term "Public Order").

Helzer announced that he was about to be replaced by Lt. Mike Roberts, who will be the sixth Force Inspector in three years, quite a turnover.

Side note for the historical record: All City meetings starting in 2020 were held by Zoom, a ubiquitous but mostly intuitive platform. The Bureau claims all City agencies had to convert to MS Teams, and the May meeting (mostly unsuccessfully) and July (better) meetings were held on the less user-friendly Teams. However, the PPB Annual Report forum in July (see Quick Flashes) was held on Zoom. Inconsistent and suspicious.

In general, the TAC meets on the second Wednesday of odd numbered months.
Find more info at portland.gov/police/tac.
  [People's Police Report]

September, 2023
Also in PPR #90

PPB Officers Kill Again After Short Break
OR Law Enforcement Deadly Force Down a Bit
DOJ May Agree to Court Monitor for Portland
$150K+ More Paid for Police Protest Violence
 • "Restorative Justice": Indictment Dropped for Brutal Cop
Oversight Board Plan Ready for Approval
Independent Police Review Investigations Lag
2023 Review Board Report #1: No Deadly Force
City Council Criminalizes Camping
City Audit: PPB Spying Lacks Proper Rules
State Discipline Commission Prints Guide
Better Force Data Promised to Training Council
More Copwatch Comments on Bureau Policies
Quick Flashes PPR #90:
 • PPB Annual Report Missing Deadly Force, Race
 • Traffic Stop Data: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
 • Immigrants Seeking Safety Denied Special Visas

Updates PPR #90:
 • Police Ass'n Compromises On Body Cam Pre-Review
 • Commanders Fix Oversight, Officers Get 43 New Positions
 • Police Drones Now Cruising Portland Skies

Rapping Back #90

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 #90 Table of Contents
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