July 10, 2013 13:30The Portland Police Bureau thanks City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade and the OIR Group for the thorough and professional review of its officer involved shooting investigations reviews. The Group continues to provide the Bureau with thoughtful and constructive recommendations as well as highlighting the challenges that critical incidents present to the men and women of the Police Bureau.
OIR acknowledged that the Portland Police Bureau has made most of the recommended improvements on its own in the years following the reviewed incidents.
During the past several years, the Portland Police Bureau has made significant and numerous changes to its policies, procedures, and training, especially in the areas of force and discipline. It has made changes in the way it investigates use of force and in-custody deaths, and continues to work toward streamlining the effectiveness and timeliness of its review process.
In particular, the Portland Police Bureau has implemented the following:
* Required all sworn members to attend a standardized In-Service training that emphasizes skills necessary to safely and effectively perform patrol functions with a minimal reliance on force. This ensures that patrol function skills are kept current and do not perish when members move to specialized assignments.
* Require all uses of force (or complaints of use of force) by members to be documented and investigated by a supervisor at the time of their occurrence. This investigation is reviewed by the involved member's Lieutenant, Captain or Commander, and the Branch Assistant Chief.
* Instituted a new Officer-Involved Shooting Review Process Standard Operating Procedure. This includes specific steps and criteria to ensure the officer-involved shooting reviews created by the Training Division staff accurately measure the involved member's performance against training received prior to the incident.
* Continued to train officers, supervisors and command officers to identify the clear legal standing and goal of a tactical incident, determine the necessary resources to accomplish the goal, and to make a plan to accomplish the goal with the least reliance on force possible.
* Trained officers, supervisors, command officers, and Critical Incident Commanders on the additional challenges, resources, and strategies to use when on an incident involving someone in a mental or behavioral health crisis.
* Provided training to new officers in the Advanced Academy, new sergeants in the Sergeant's Academy, and even new Fire Bureau supervisors on the need to preserve evidence at crime scenes while ensuring the dignity of the deceased.
* In 2011, the Bureau presented a crime scene management class at the "Sergeants In-service" training. In 2012, a crime scene management class, which covered officer-involved shootings, was presented at In-service training.
* Purchased and deployed ballistic shields in the trunks of the majority of supervisor patrol units in 2010 and has trained all officers on their location and use at in-service.
* During 2013 In-Service, the Taser Policy changes and content were instructed by Deputy City Attorneys in a classroom setting. Highly trained Taser Instructors taught the practical application of the changes. Scenarios involving the use of the Taser were also used to measure officers understanding of the policy, practical application, and proper use.
The Portland Police Bureau remains committed to continual improvement and transparency.
For more information on the Police Bureau's specific responses to the Audit's recommendation, visit:
Sgt. Pete Simpson