February 25, 2014 09:40
During the past several years, the Police Bureau has made significant changes to its policies, procedures, and training that we provide to detectives and supervisors in the Bureau's Sex Crimes Unit. The recently released audit from the City Auditor's Office discussed these improvements, including the way the Bureau investigates sexual assaults, and continues to work toward improving its investigative processes.
The most recent audit focuses on assessing progress toward making the response to sexual assault cases more victim-centered. The audit found that more medical resources are available to victims and the Bureau has added two Victim Services Specialists to contact victims and provide social support services, and that Detectives use their services regularly. The audit also found the members of the SCU generally meet revised policies requiring them to contact victims within a certain time frame and at a location desired by the victim.
The audit made seven recommendations to improve, most of which involve slight revisions in policy or procedures. The Police Bureau agreed with every recommendation and will make changes accordingly. One recommendation the Police Bureau concurred with, but cannot act upon, as it is under the Bureau of Emergency Communications. Two of the revisions are somewhat dependent on the Police Bureau's conversion later this year to the new Regional Justice Information Network (RegJIN).
"The members of the Bureau's Sex Crimes Unit are dedicated and compassionate professionals who care deeply about the victims involved and make every attempt to conduct through investigations," said Chief Michael Reese. "We remain committed to transparency and are willing to always pursue enhancements that benefit the Bureau and the community in which we serve."
The entire audit can be found at http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=64479&a=481817
The Portland Police Bureau works with the Sexual Assault Resource Center of Oregon (SARC) and we want you to know that you need not be alone as a survivor of a sexual assault. SARC has a 24-hour support line at (503) 640-5311.
Additionally, the Portland Police Bureau WomenStrength and GirlStrength programs provide free self-defense classes and personal safety workshops to people around the Portland area.
To learn more information about WomenStrength and GirlStrength, call (503) 823-0260 or visit http://www.portlandonline.com/police/womenstrength.
Sgt. Pete Simpson
Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204