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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Commissioner Fish's Statement on the Joint Terrorism Task Force

April 20, 2011

Mayor Adams made the right call when he announced his work plan to inform Council's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) decision. We have had a wide-ranging and thoughtful process.

As a City Commissioner, I take very seriously my duty to keep Portlanders safe. We face serious threats from Al Qaida, its allies, and from domestic terrorist groups. At this moment, Americans are in the field fighting and dying to protect our freedoms.

As a former civil rights lawyer, I also take very seriously my duty to protect our cherished Constitutional freedoms and liberties.

The Mayor's proposed resolution is an improvement over the 2005 resolution. I have worked closely with the Mayor to be sure the protections of civil rights are explicit and the supervision by Council and the police chief are clear.

However, I am concerned that the addition of the limitation to only allow Portland police officers to participate in "full investigations" is a fundamental flaw in the resolution. The provision is confusing and will prevent officers from performing basic police work when working with the JTTF.

I am confident that Council can create an agreement with our federal partners that will protect liberties and enhance safety. I will be working with my colleagues to bring an amendment to address what I see as a critical shortcoming in the proposed resolution.

City Commissioner Randy Leonard says new JTTF language should have support, but feds say hurdled remain

Brad Schmidt and Maxine Bernstein in the Oregonian

US Attorney Dwight Holton's letter to Mayor Adams regarding JTTF

April 19, 2011

"Portland's Mayor Adams unveils JTTF plan, but federal officials say it's unacceptable"

Maxine Bernstein in the Oregonian

"Adams says JTTF proposal protects city, civil liberties" 

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

"Portland mayor's plan called 'unworkable'"

Maxine Bernstein in the Oregonian

"Quit dillydallying on JTTF" 

The Oregonian Editorial Board

"Adams Makes a Big Bet on JTTF"

Nigel Jaquiss in the Willamette Week