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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

Question Outline for Basic Intake Interview

Updated: November 2015

Question Outline:

Basic Intake Interview Questions


  • Are you calling to make a complaint about a Portland Police Officer?
  • What is your name?
  • Best phone number to reach you?  
    • [If no phone,] Alternate means of contact?

If they are complaining on behalf of another person, questions should be asked about the person directly affected by the alleged misconduct.


  • ASK BEFORE PROCEEDING: Are you currently represented by an attorney?  For this incident?
  • [Ask demographic questions and contact information at start, if CO is willing.  If they wish to tell story first, ask demographic questions before end of interview:  Race/ethnicity?  Gender identity? DOB? Mailing address?]


  • What happened? 


  • If a use of force is alleged, see “Use of Force Questions,” page 3.


  • Where did the incident occur?


  • What day did the incident occur?


  • [If more than three months prior,] What prompted you to make this complaint today?  Any reason for the delay?


  • What time did the incident occur?
    • [If not sure of time,] Daylight? Night?  Morning? Afternoon?  Closest time estimate?


  • [If not the person affected by the incident,] When did you first find out about this incident? 
    • Who told you?


  • What did you see? 
    • Where were you standing/sitting relative to others?
    • Was it dark / other visibility conditions?  Barriers to ability to see?


  • What did you hear? 
    • Where were you standing/sitting relative to others?
    • Any barriers to ability to hear?


  • Who else was there?
    • Did they see the interaction with the officer, or what happened before or after?


  • Do you have names and phone numbers for the witnesses?


  • How many officers were present?


  • Were all officers in uniform?


  • Can you describe the uniforms?


  • How did you know they were officers?


  • Do you have officers’ names?  License plate?  Car number?


  • What kind(s) of vehicle(s) did the officers show up in (bikes, patrol car, on foot…)?
  • What did the patrol car look like/markings?  Where did it park?


  • Did they offer a business card?


  • Did you ask for a business card, or hear anyone else ask?


  • Can you please describe the officer(s)?


  • [Probe for identifying features, facial hair, height, weight, driver or passenger, order of arrival on scene; distinguish description of involved officer(s) from witness officer(s)]


  • What was the first thing you heard the officer say?


  • What did you say in response?


  • What else do you remember the officer saying?


  • If the complainant mentions that they have a disability, ask:


  • Did you inform the officer of your disability?
  • What did the officer do after you said you had ______(disability)?


  • Were you patted down by the officer?


  • Did the officer search you, your vehicle, or your home?


  • Did the officer ask your consent to search?  Did you give consent?
  • Did they tell you the reason for the search?


  • Were you arrested?


  • Were you handcuffed?


  • Did you receive a citation?


  • Do you have a case number or report number?


  • Did anyone record audio or video of the incident?
    • How can we get the recording?


  • Were any businesses nearby to where the incident occurred? [Probe for relative locations of complainant, witnesses, PPB members, and clothing or other identifiers to aid in video review]


  • What would you like to see happen as a result of your complaint?


  • From your perspective, what should the officer have done differently?



  • [Demographic questions, if not asked at start:]  We ask for information about you, in order to locate records, as well as to track patterns in the type of complaints we receive.   Would you please tell me…
    • Race/ethnicity? 
    • Gender identity?
    • DOB?  Age, if not willing to provide DOB?


  • Is there a mailing address we can use for written communications with you?


  • Discuss next steps & possible outcomes of intake investigation.


  • Incorporate dialogue regarding interest in mediation:  If mediation is of interest to complainant, advise complainant that the case is still subject to IPR management approval of mediation but that mediator (case development purposes) may contact them to provide additional information of the benefits of mediation and the impact mediation would have on their particular case. See Mediation Plan document