1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
August 31, 2004 00:00
“I am encouraged by the large number of commendations Bureau employees received in 2003 and officers’ commitment to mediation,” says Chief Derrick Foxworth. “While complaints are an unfortunate factor in law enforcement, and it is always our goal to reduce complaints, it should be recognized that the number of complaints over the last several years has not increased. While we continue to work toward reducing complaints, I am proud of the extraordinary job the men and women of the Portland Police Bureau do each and every day for the citizens of Portland.”
Other highlights of the report include:
-Like many law enforcement agencies throughout the country, the Portland Police Bureau saw a decrease in complaints after September 11, therefore, the years 2001 and 2002 were lower than the year 2000. In 2003, complaints increased, however, the Police Bureau still had fewer complaints than the year 2000, despite an increase in population and calls for service.
-Of the 761 complaints received by IPR, IPR declined 55% of those complaints after review. Of those remaining complaints, only 26 resulted in a sustained finding.
-Of the 454,854 citizen contacts the Police Bureau had in 2003, there were 26 sustained complaints. This equates to one sustained complaint for every 17,494 contacts.
-The Police Bureau had one sustained report for excessive force; that complaint was generated by Bureau members.
-Police officers continue to demonstrate a willingness to report perceived violations by fellow officers. Of all the complaints received, Bureau-initiated complaints were responsible for the greatest number of sustained findings (53%).
-The Police Bureau has improved the timeliness of the complaint process. Precincts achieved their goal of completing 75% of service complaints within 30 days and nearly achieved the goal of completing 100% within 45 days. Timeliness has long been noted as a frustration for citizens and Bureau members.
In 2003, IPR received commendations for 583 Police Bureau employees.
The number of officers willing to participate in mediation also increased. During 2003, 20 mediations were completed, which is the highest rate nationally.
“I want to thank the Independent Police Review Division (IPR) and its staff for their continued hard work and commitment to assisting the Police Bureau with its continued commitment to community policing,” says Chief Foxworth. “We will continue with the many initiatives already brought forth this year in regard to changes in policies, training and hiring. We have received a lot of community feedback over the last year, and I am pleased with all of the good work that is being done as a result of that feedback.”
Sgt. Pete Simpson