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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

Case Handling Decisions at Intake


City Code 3.21.120

Rule PSF-5.19

Policy updated: March 2016

Intake Case Handling Decisions


The assigned IPR Director will make a case handling decision based on the Intake Report.   Portland City Code 3.21.120 and rule PSF 5.19 set forth the basic guidelines for IPR’s handling of complaints.

The IPR Director’s available courses of action include:

(1)    Refer the complaint or selected allegations to IA for review and handling:


  1. Service Improvement Opportunity: the IPR Director may recommend that IA refer a complaint that demonstrates a Police Bureau member’s service was below Police Bureau expectations and/or constitutes a minor rule violation to the officer’s direct supervisor to review the incident with the Police Bureau member and provide a memo detailing their conversation to IPR and IA for review and approval.
  2. Administrative Investigation: If there is sufficient evidence that a Police Bureau member engaged in an act of misconduct, and additional investigation would make a factual finding possible, IPR may refer the complaint to IA for investigation.
  • IPR oversees and is involved in all IA investigations:
  • May participate in interviews of involved offices and witnesses
  • Has access to all evidence gathered during the investigation while the investigation is on-going
  • Must approve the investigation as thorough, complete and impartial before it is forwarded to involved officer’s commander for recommended findings and proposed discipline.


(2)    IPR may conduct an independent investigation;

(3)    Refer the complaint for mediation.  Mediation is a voluntary alternative to the disciplinary process conducted by a professional mediator; or

(4)    Dismiss the complaint or selected allegations for reasons authorized by the City Code. IPR may dismiss a case for a variety of reasons including but not limited to the following:


  • the complainant could reasonably be expected to use, or is using, another remedy or channel  or tort claim for the grievance stated in the complaint;


  • the complainant delayed too long in filing the complaint to justify present examination;


  • even if all aspects of the complaint were true, no act of misconduct would have occurred;


  • the complaint is trivial, frivolous or not made in good faith;


  • other complaints must take precedence due to limited public resources;


  • the complainant withdraws the complaint or fails to complete necessary complaint steps.


  • it is more likely than not that additional investigation would not lead to a conclusion that the officer engaged in misconduct.


  • lack of jurisdiction; or


(5)    Dismiss the complaint or selected allegations for authorized reasons and forward the information in the complaint to the Police Bureau (e.g., Chief’s Office, IA, or Precinct Commander) or other appropriate public agency for whatever policy, personnel, training, or other actions the Bureau or other appropriate public agency deems advisable; or

(6)    Take other actions consistent with law and policy to carry out the intent of Portland City Code Chapter 3.21.