After a community member files a complaint, the IPR will assign the case to a complaint investigator for an initial investigation. The investigator will interview the complainant(s), all available civilian witnesses, gather police reports, dispatch records, and video or audio recordings of the incident. The IPR Director will then choose to have the complaint handled in one of the ways listed below:
- Independent Investigation: IPR is authorized under City Code to conduct independent investigations into allegations of police misconduct.
- Internal Affairs Investigation Referral: The case can be referred to the Police Bureau Internal Affairs for investigation. All Internal Affairs investigations are reviewed by IPR.
- Supervisory Investigation: allegations related to minor rule violations that would not result in discipline may be referred to an officer’s supervisor for investigation. All supervisory investigations are reviewed by IPR.
- Administrative Closure: The complaint may be administratively closed after initial investigation if it falls into one of the categories outlined in City Code 3.21.120, most commonly because the conduct described, even if proven true, does not violate a Portland Police Bureau directive. The complainant will receive a letter explaining why the case was closed.
- Mediation: In certain cases, with the approval of both the complainant and the police officer, the case can be mediated. IPR will arrange for an outside mediator to meet with you and the officer with the intent to clear up any misunderstandings by discussing the incident in an informal and non-confrontational setting.
- Referral: Certain cases may be referred to other City Bureaus if they can more appropriately deal with the complaint. For example, if there is evidence of criminal conduct, the IPR Director will refer the case to the Police Bureau or the District Attorney's Office for a criminal investigation. If the complaint involves a non-Portland Police officer, then the complaint will be referred to the appropriate police department. For cases that do not involve misconduct, but a community member may benefit by discussing their concerns, IPR may refer the matter to the appropriate Precinct Commander.