City Selects Team for Compliance Officer and Community Liaison to Support Police Reform
FRIDAY, NOV. 7, 2014 – Portland City Commissioners will enter negotiations next week with a team led by Dr. Dennis Rosenbaum of the University of Illinois at Chicago to serve as the Compliance Officer and Community Liaison.
Joining the Rosenbaum team will be retired Chief Justice Paul De Muniz of the Oregon Supreme Court.
Also on the team is Dr. Amy Watson, an associate professor at the University of Illinois’ Jane Addams College of Social Work, and a nationally recognized expert on police interactions with people experiencing mental illness.
The City Council will consider the ordinance at its Wednesday, Nov. 12, meeting.
“This is a world-class team, which will make sure the city remains in compliance with the settlement, and works in good faith with our community,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Adding Justice De Muniz to the team gives this position true gravitas.”
Commissioner Amanda Fritz coordinated the proposed selection of this team, in consultation with Mayor Hales and all Commissioners, after considering public input in the 30-day public comment period required by the Settlement Agreement.
“I was impressed with all three finalists for the position,” she said. “While I share some concerns we heard from community members that a team based in Chicago might have challenges becoming and staying connected in Portland, I believe the active involvement of Justice De Muniz will provide the necessary well-grounded local leadership.”
Rosenbaum is a professor of criminology; law and justice; and psychology at the University of Illinois. He was worked extensively on the issues of police interactions with communities.
De Muniz was the first Hispanic Chief Justice in Oregon, elected to the Supreme Court in 2000, and elected as Chief Justice in 2006. He also served on the Oregon Court of Appeals for 10 years. He attended Madison High School in Portland and Portland State University.
Also on the team are Dr. Geoffrey Alpert, professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina; and Tom Christoff of the National Police Research Platform, which assists with the development of survey tools and research methodology in police-community interactions.
The city also is considering hiring a mental health advocate and specialist who will assist a Community Oversight Advisory Board, or COAB, on issues related to mental illness. Recruitment starts in December.
That board, along with the Compliance Officer/Community Liaison – also known as the COCL – are part of the settlement agreement between the city and the Federal Department of Justice to reform police practices in the city. The city, DOJ, the Albina Ministerial Alliance for Justice and Police Reform, and the police union came to an agreement on a settlement earlier this year, and a federal judge accepted the agreement in August.
The city has been enacting a wide array of the reforms, including in the areas of police training and discipline; use of force and use of Tasers; and de-escalation policies. In October, Mayor Hales announced that Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea would be promoted to chief, starting in January. O’Dea has been a leader in enacting police reforms and building relationships with the community.
The naming of the Compliance Officer and Community Liaison is the latest step in years of work to improve police procedures.
The role of the COCL includes auditing, surveying and analysis of the level and quality of the city’s implementation of the DOJ settlement. The COCL also will collaborate with the community to measure success of improvements to police interactions.
Publically aired 9/29/14 Candidate Presentations
Video of the candidate presentations: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/article/50622