1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
January 19, 2006 00:00
“Late this afternoon, the Police Bureau received the independent arbitrator’s decision in connection with the discipline imposed by the Portland Police Bureau on Officer Scott McCollister in connection with the May 3, 2003, death of Kendra James.
“The arbitrator has overturned the Police Bureau’s discipline decision and awarded Officer McCollister back pay with benefits. The arbitrator cited that Officer McCollister’s actions were consistent with the Bureau’s policies and training at that time. As Chief, I respect the due process system and will abide with the arbitrator’s decision.
“This incident caused tremendous emotion within the community, and I understand the frustration and hurt people felt in regard to this shooting. This incident—as with any deadly force incident—also caused deep sorrow within the Police Bureau. Anytime an officer is forced to take a life, their own life is changed forever.
“However, I want to ensure the community and Bureau members that since this incident, the Police Bureau—with great input from community members—has implemented numerous changes in regard to its Directives, training and use of force. The Bureau has also implemented a Use of Force and Performance Review Board that includes community members and peers. This Board, which reviews all use of force incidents, and makes recommendations to the Chief of Police, is critical to strengthening the relationship between police and the community.
“Now it is time for all of us to move forward now in a positive and constructive manner. The Police Bureau has many ways for individuals to become involved in community policing and we welcome the continued input from members of our community.
“There is still much work to be done. We will continue to ask the community for assistance in reviewing the Police Bureau’s directives, training, use of force, hiring and recruiting and other critical components within our organization. We want to thank the members of the Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA) and the many organizations and community members who have worked with us since the fateful morning hours of May 3, 2003. Their support and hard work, along with the dedication of Bureau members and the labor unions have helped implement many positive changes in the Police Bureau.”
Sgt. Pete Simpson