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New Oversight System 2023
Comparing the current system to that proposed by the
(posted September 9, 2023, updated October 9, 2023 and November 13,
|New System (PROPOSED)||Current System||Source|
|Simplified Community-run System: The new Board is community-led with investigations run by non-police investigators. The new Community Board for Police Accountability will hire the Director of the new Office of Community-based Police Accountability. Cases will move through one system.||In the current system, cases/complaints are routinely shifted among four systems: the City's Independent Police Review (IPR- conducts intake); the Police Bureau's Internal Affairs unit (IA- investigates most complaints); the Citizen Review Committee (CRC- hears appeals), and the Police Review Board (PRB).||Charter Sections 2-1001 and 2-1005|
|More Authority Over Police: The new Board will make decisions about whether officers violated policy and impose corrective action/discipline if appropriate.||Currently, community members are the majority decision-makers only in the appeals process (at CRC). If the Chief disagrees with the CRC's findings, City Council makes the final decision.||Charter Section 2-1007, proposed code Section 35D.180|
|Investigation of and Authority Over Police Shootings: The new Board staff will investigate deadly force incidents and the system will allow for community members to appeal findings in those cases if officers are not found "out of policy" by the original panel.||Currently, IPR can go to the scene of deadly force incidents, observe the investigations, and vote on proposed findings at the PRB, but cannot investigate. The CRC has been told that they cannot hear appeals on deadly force cases.||Charter Section 2-1008, proposed code section 35D.240|
|Advocates to Guide You: The new system will provide complaint navigators to community members from the beginning to the end of the process.||Currently, a person who files an appeal (which excludes deadly force) only gets access to an "Appeals Process Advisor" toward the end of the process.||Proposed code section 35D.090|
|Policy Powers: The new system will make recommendations about policy, training & practices. If the Chief doesn't accept the recommendation, the new oversight board may send it to City Council, and the Charter requires the Council to vote whether to approve the recommendation.||In the current system, IPR and CRC can make recommendations and the Chief can decide whether or not to accept them, without City Council's involvement.||Charter Section 2-1007b|
What do you think?
Let City Council know: https://www.portland.gov/help/contact-elected-official or 503-823-4082.
Disclosure: Portland Copwatch members Dan Handelman and Charlie
Michelle-Westley served as members
of the Police Accountability Commission.
Print a PDF version of this page (UPDATED 10/9/23)
1) Will police or former police be on the staff?
--The PAC's proposal is that no current or former police should be on the staff of the Office of Community-based Police Accountability. City Council seems concerned that the new Board won't have enough knowledge or will be seen as biased against law enforcement if there are no officers involved. Community members are concerned of exactly the opposite, that having police investigate other police will bias the outcome in the same way having PPB Internal Affairs biases the outcomes currently.
2) Why is the budget going to be over $12 million?
--The Charter assigns the new oversight system a budget equivalent to no less than 5% of the Portland Police budget. The PAC has no control over the Charter's language. But looking realistically at a staff that should deal with investigations, complaint navigation, board support (including for hearings/meetings), outreach, data analysis, policy work and more, the $12 million will go to good use.
3) Why 33 members?
It is expected that the Board will process as many as 240 cases a year, so the workload needs to be spread out. There are currently 26 community members involved in the oversight system-- 11 on the Citizen Review Committee and 15 who rotate through hearings of the Police Review Board.
4) What's the difference between the Board and the Office?
The Community Board for Police Accountability are the minimally compensated volunteers who hold the hearings and hire the Board's Director. The Office of Community-based Police Accountability will be the professional staff including the investigators and other employees listed in the answer to question #2.
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability
through citizen action.
Page posted September 9, 2023, last updated November 24,
Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.
Page posted September 9, 2023, last updated November 24, 2023