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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

0330.00 Internal Affairs, Complaint Intake and Processing

330.00, Internal Affairs, Complaint Intake and Processing 

 

Refer:

  • City Code PSF 5.19 3b (5), Independent Police Review Division – Case Handling Guidelines
  • City Code PSF 5.20, Internal Affairs Guidelines for Screening Referrals from IPR
  • City of Portland, Human Resource Administrative Rule 2.02, Prohibition Against Workplace Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation
  • Directive 120.00, Inspections, Responsibility and Authority
  • Directive 211.20, Files, Bureau and Division Personnel
  • Directive 310.20, Retaliation Prohibited
  • Directive 312.00, Requests for Assistance
  • Directive 331.00, Service Improvement Opportunities
  • Directive 332.00, Administrative Investigations
  • Directive 333.00, Criminal Investigations of Police Bureau Employees
  • Directive 334.00, Performance Deficiencies
  • Directive 335.00, Discipline Process
  • Directive 336.00, Performance Review Board
  • Directive 344.00, Compliance with Human Resource Administrative Rules
  • Directive 345.00, Employee Information System
  • Internal Affairs Complaint Log Form

 

Definitions:

  • Additional Intake Investigation: A case may be assigned for additional intake investigation when more information is needed to determine the merits of the complaint. The purpose of an additional intake investigation is to clarify the facts of the case to the point where a decision can be made as to whether to investigate it fully or decline the case.

 

  • Administrative Investigation: A complete investigation into allegations of policy violations, conducted by or at the direction of Internal Affairs, which is submitted to the member’s Responsibility Unit Manager for findings.

 

  • Declination: Internal Affairs may decline to investigate some or all of the allegations in a complaint as subsequently outlined in this Directive. Internal Affairs may refer the information in a declined complaint to another Bureau official (e.g., Chief of Police Office, Responsibility Unit Manager, or Precinct Commander), or other appropriate agency for whatever policy, personnel, training, or other actions the Bureau, or the City Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division, deem appropriate.

 

  • Mediation: A voluntary, non-disciplinary, confidential process where a neutral, professionally trained mediator helps community members and members speak directly with each other in an effort to resolve complaints.

 

  • Service Improvement Opportunity: A formal, non-disciplinary process where a supervisor evalu­ates and debriefs a complaint that alleges a minor rule violation or raises a quality of service issue.

 

Policy:

1.  The Portland Police Bureau and the Portland City Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division (IPR) will work in partnership to address complaints of policy violations against members of the Portland Police Bureau. Jointly, the Bureau and IPR will ensure that:

1.1.  Behaviors or trends that erode community trust and confidence are identi­fied and addressed,

1.2.  Individual and organizational accountability for police conduct is pro­moted, and

1.3.  Policy and training issues that will strengthen our police and community relationship and quality of service are identified.

Procedure:

1.  Role of the City Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division:

1.1.  The City Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division (IPR) is responsible for receiving and numbering complaints regarding allegations of misconduct against members of the Bureau, monitoring Internal Affairs investigations of complaints, coordinating appeals of Bureau findings of complaints, and recommending changes in police practice and policy. IPR may conduct its own investigation into allegations of misconduct.

2.  Complaint Intake:

2.1.  Community members may contact IPR directly to initiate complaints against Bureau members. Bureau members receiving complaints should attempt to resolve complaints about minor rule violations or quality of service at the time they are made; otherwise the complainant will be referred to IPR. If the complainant requests that the Bureau member receive the complaint instead of IPR, Bureau members shall accept and document the information from any person, including other Bureau members, juveniles, third parties, and anonymous sources. The Bureau member will forward the information, through channels, to Internal Affairs, which will then be forwarded to IPR. If it is impractical for the Bureau member to accept complaint in­formation when requested, the member shall refer the community member to a supervisor.

2.2.  Bureau members who become aware of possible misconduct will report such allegations to any of the following personnel:

2.2.1.  Any supervisor within or outside the chain of command,

2.2.2.  Office of the Chief of Police,

2.2.3.  Personnel Division,

2.2.4.  Internal Affairs,

2.2.5.  Bureau of Human Resources,

2.2.6.  City Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division, and/or

2.2.7.  City Attorney’s Office.

2.3.  The Captain of the Professional Standards Division or designee must be consulted prior to the implementation of any formal administrative investigative action. The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee will consult with representatives of the Office of the City Attorney, Bureau of Human Resources, and IPR when investigating allegations related to Human Resources Administrative Rule 2.02, Directive 310.20, Retaliation Prohibited, Directive 344.00, Compliance with Human Resources Administrative Rules, or any other City Administrative Rule or Bureau directive the Professional Standards Division Captain or designee deems necessary. The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee will immediately notify the Chief of Police when any of these types of investigations are initiated. If allegations of misconduct involve the Professional Standards Division Captain and/or any other member of the Professional Standards Division, the Police Chief shall be notified and the Chief shall designate a member of command staff to assume the role of the Professional Standards Division Captain and/or any other member of the Professional Standards Division for all purposes related to the investigation.

2.4.  Once a complaint is received by Internal Affairs, the authority for process­ing, investigating, or referring the complaint is delegated by the Chief of Police, to the Professional Standards Division Captain or designee. No Bureau official has the authority to stop, intercede in, suspend, or in any way direct and/or influence the substance of an Internal Affairs administrative investigation. When allegations of misconduct require immediate attention, supervisors will initiate the necessary action and notify the Professional Standards Division Captain or designee, and the appropriate assistant chief, through the chain of command.

3.  Documentation:

3.1.  The following information, if available, will be included in the documentation of a complaint:

3.1.1.  Names of complainant(s) and witnesses, addresses, telephone numbers, and dates of birth,

3.1.2.  Date, time, and place of alleged misconduct,

3.1.3.  Identification of the member(s) involved,

3.1.4.  Nature of the complaint,

3.1.5.  Any action taken in an attempt to resolve the complaint.

4.  Complaint Assignment:

4.1.  The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee shall assign each complaint where it will receive the most effective treatment and resolution.

4.2.  The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee will coordinate with the Assistant Chief of Investigations about all matters alleging criminal misconduct, in accordance with Directive 333.00, Criminal Investigations of Police Bureau Employees.

4.3.  The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee will notify IPR of the resolution strategy for each complaint. If IPR disagrees with a resolution strategy, IPR will promptly notify the Professional Standards Division Captain or designee.

4.4.  The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee may consider the complaint, the IPR intake investigation, police reports, dispatch records, and similar documentation of the incident. Additionally, the Professional Standards Division Captain or designee shall consider the following criteria in determining how a complaint will be handled:

4.4.1.  If there could be a violation of criminal law,

4.4.2.  The seriousness of the alleged misconduct,

4.4.3.  Where the accused member is currently assigned,

4.4.4.  If there could be a conflict of interest,

4.4.5.  If there is a pattern of violations,

4.4.6.  Input provided by the member’s Responsibility Unit Manager,

4.4.7.  The involved Responsibility Unit Manager’s ability to conduct an investigation.

5.  Complaint Resolution:

5.1.  Internal Affairs complaints will be handled through one of the following means:

5.1.1.  Administrative Investigation,

5.1.2.  Additional Intake Investigation,

5.1.3.  Service Improvement Opportunity,

5.1.4.  Mediation,

5.1.5.  Declination,

5.1.6.  Declination with informational referral to the Responsibility Unit.

6.  Administrative Investigations:

6.1.  A case may be assigned for administrative investigation when there is a prima facie allegation of conduct that violates one or more Bureau directives and, if sustained, is likely to result in disciplinary action.

6.2.  Generally, Internal Affairs investigators will conduct Internal Affairs investigations; however the Professional Standards Division Captain or designee, when appropriate, may assign complaints to be investigated or resolved at the Responsibility Unit level. The Internal Affairs or Responsibility Unit investigator assigned to investigate a complaint will follow the procedures described in Directive 332.00, Administrative Investigations. 

6.3.  IPR may choose to conduct its own investigation or participate in the Internal Affairs investigation. IPR will be notified of all findings for community member complaints and will have primary responsibility to communicate with involved community members. IPR will notify involved community members and Internal Affairs will notify involved Bureau members of complaint outcomes. 

7.  Additional Intake Investigations:

7.1.  A case may be assigned for additional intake investigation when more information is needed to determine the merits of the complaint. The purpose of an additional intake investigation is to clarify the facts of the case to the point where a decision can be made as to whether to investigate it fully or decline the case.

7.2.  The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee may request additional information from witnesses or other information sources to clarify factual issues.

7.3.  Additional intake investigations generally will not involve interviews of accused members.

7.4.  An additional intake investigation is not a substitute for a full investigation and does not result in find­ings.

8.  Service Improvement Opportunity:

8.1.  Allegations of minor work rule violations or quality of service issues may be handled as Service Improvement Opportunities, per Directive 331.00, Service Improvement Opportunities. 

9.  Mediation:

9.1.  If the IPR Director and the Professional Standards Division Captain or designee concludes that mediation will meet the needs of the Police Bureau and the community, mediation will be of­fered to the involved officer through his or her Responsibility Unit Manager. This option is contingent upon the mutual agreement of everyone involved. The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee, the accused member’s Responsibility Unit Manager, or the accused member may decline an IPR recommenda­tion to mediate a complaint. Qualified mediators will be managed and assigned through IPR. Mediation outcomes will not result in a finding.

10.  Declination:

10.1.  The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee may decline to investigate the allegations in a complaint and take no further action or refer the complaint to the appropriate Responsibility Unit Manager for an informal debriefing, under the circumstances listed in City Code PSF 5.20, which include:

10.1.1.  No Misconduct: The employee’s conduct, as alleged by the complainant, does not violate Bureau policy.

10.1.2.  Minor or De Minimus Rules Violation: The employee’s conduct, as alleged by the complainant, constitutes a minor technical violation that if sustained would not result in discipline and is too minor or too vague to justify a service complaint.

10.1.3.  No Jurisdiction: The complaint is against a non-employee, a former employee, or an employee of another department or other agency; or the employee resigns, retires, or will no longer be employed by the Bureau by the time an investigation and disciplinary process could be completed. Despite the option to decline investigations into former members, Internal Affairs may decide to investigate a complaint involving a former member based on the nature and seriousness of the allegations, or upon the IPR’s request. For example, if misconduct has been alleged, the Professional Standards Division Captain or designee may order an investigation. The case will proceed according to Directive 332.00, Administrative Investigations, except that former members cannot be ordered to make a statement. Discipline may be imposed if the employee returns to service.

10.1.4.  Judicial or Administrative Review: The allegations have been or will be subject to effective judicial or administrative review. A pending tort claim or lawsuit generally shall not be a sufficient basis for declining to investigate a complaint.

10.1.5.  Unidentifiable Employee: A reasonable investigative effort would not be able to identify the complained-against employee.

10.1.6.  Previously Investigated Or Adjudicated: The alleged conduct was previously investigated or adjudicated by the Bureau and the current complaint does not provide substantial new evidence.

10.1.7.  Lacks Investigative Merit: The Professional Standards Division Captain or designee must identify specific and articulable reasons why there is no reasonable possibility that an investigation will sustain the allegation or the complaint is not credible or reliable.

10.1.8.  Insufficient Resources: Per City Code 5.19 3(b), if the Professional Standards Division Captain or designee finds the workload of Internal Affairs significantly exceeds available resources and will continue to exceed for the foreseeable future, available resources may be focused on more serious or more provable complaints and decline less serious or less provable complaints. Internal Affairs will notify the IPR Director if Internal Affairs workload exceeds the resources of Internal Affairs to such an extent that Internal Affairs must significantly raise its threshold for investigating complaints.

11.  Criminal Complaints Involving Members:

11.1.  Allegations of member misconduct, which include a possible criminal law viola­tion, may be investigated concurrently as a criminal and administrative investigation. Criminal cases involving members will be processed according to Directive 333.00, Criminal Investigations of Police Bureau Employees.

12.  Unlawful Employment Practices, Discrimination Complaints, Equal Employment Opportunities:

12.1.  Complaints by members alleging unlawful employment practices will be processed according to the City of Portland’s Human Resource Administrative Rule 2.02, Prohibition Against Workplace Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation and Directive 344.00, Compliance with Human Resource Administrative Rules.

13.  Personnel Performance Deficiencies:

13.1.  Complaints regarding job performance problems or minor work rule violations may be processed according to the procedures in Directive 334.00 Performance Deficiencies.

14.  Liability Management:

14.1.  Police liability management may review closed Internal Affair cases for compliance with policy, rules, and procedures related to the review of claims against the Bureau.

History:

  • Originating Directive Effective: 09/06/01
  • First Revision Effective: 09/26/02
  • Second Revision Effective: 07/31/07
  • Third Revision Effective: 10/30/14
  • Next Review Date: 4/30/15
  • Review By: Professional Standards Division