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The City of Portland, Oregon

Independent Police Review

Providing independent, civilian oversight of the Portland Police Bureau

phone: 503-823-0146

fax: 503-823-4571

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 140, Portland, OR 97204

High Volume Complaint Protocol

Policy updated: March 2017

High Volume Complaint Protocol

From time to time, an incident or interaction involving the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) draws intense, widespread public interest and attention. PPB’s response to protest activity is one common source of such public interest. This public interest often results in IPR receiving a large number of complaints, commendations, and other contacts about a particular incident or interaction.

The investigator assigned to act as IPR’s Person of the Day (POD) is usually the first IPR staff who must process and respond to these contacts from the public. Often, the volume of these contacts far exceeds what the POD typically encounters. In some cases, it exceeds what one person can respond to in one day.

The IPR Investigations Unit has developed the following High Volume Complaint Protocol to guide IPR’s response to these events. This protocol addresses only the steps IPR staff will take in processing and responding to a large number of public contacts. It does not address IPR’s case assignment schema.

The POD is responsible for determining when to enact the High Volume Complaint Protocol, with the general understanding it will be enacted if IPR receives ten or more contacts about a particular issue in one overnight or over-the-weekend period. Upon activation:


  1. The POD will send an email to all of IPR, advising they are enacting the protocol.
  2. An IPR manager will meet with the POD at 0830. The POD will describe the nature and extent of contacts received. The manager will provide guidance or direction as they deem appropriate.
  3. The POD will designate 1-2 other investigators to assist them. Designated investigators will prioritize assisting the POD over any other tasks they are assigned.
  4. The POD and designated investigators will attempt to make contact with all community members who contacted IPR, that same day, by the most expeditious means of contact available.
  5. Upon contact, the POD or designated investigator will determine the general nature of the community member’s concern, and whether they wish to make a formal complaint. If the person wishes to make a complaint, the POD or investigator will schedule an interview. Barring exigent circumstances, no interviews will be conducted during this initial contact. During these contacts, staff will emphasize to community members that no case handling decision has yet been made.
  6. The POD will prepare a summary, listing all the community members who contacted IPR, and briefly describing the nature of their concerns.
  7. The POD and designated investigators will meet with an IPR manager at 1630, and describe the general nature of each community member’s concerns. The manager will determine what complaints, if any, IPR will open for intake. The manager will determine the disposition of all contacts not assigned for intake.
  8. In the days that follow, the investigators assigned to each intake that IPR opens will interview the community members, at their previously scheduled times.