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The City of Portland, Oregon

Independent Police Review

Independent Police Review is a police oversight agency, and is independent and autonomous from the Portland Police Bureau.

phone: 503-823-0146

fax: 503-823-4571

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

December 10, 1998

DECEMBER 10, 1998
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Marina Anttila; Gene Bales; ; Deborah Haring; Leora Mahoney; Dapo Sobomehin, Robert Ueland; Randall Weisberg; Robert Wells
Citizen Advisors Absent: Les Frank, Steve Heck
City Staff Present: Sgt. Jeff Barker, IAD; Capt. Bill Bennington, IAD; Sgt. Vince Jarmer, IAD; Sgt. Pam Kauffman, IAD; Lisa Botsko, PIIAC Staff; Sgt. John Smith, IAD
Ford opened the meeting, which was being held at the Water Quality Control Lab in North Portland. The minutes for June 1998 were approved after a couple of clarifiying questions.
PIIAC Appeal #98-07: The appellant was not present. Weisberg summarized. A teenage girl was stopped for speeding in the I-5 Terwilliger curves. Her vehicle was towed when she could produce no proof of insurance, and the officer had the young lady walk to a nearby supermarket. The appellant, the girl's mother, felt that the officer should have given her a ride to a public telephone rather than make her walk. According to the appellant it had been dark outside, the girl lived in Washington, and she had been intimidateed walking on a freeway.
The question is whether any PPB policy was violated, and Weisberg said that mediation would have been a good solution for this case. He drew a diagram of the incident location and Capt. Bennington distributed photos that had been taken of the site. According to the officer involved, the young woman did not have to cross any traffic lanes to get to the store; in fact she was able to walk on an overpass sidewalk.
Capt. Bennington said that this case was received when mediations were on hold. Botsko added that policy concerns could be further reviewed in the monitoring report. She said that PPB had a General Order on towing that specified an officer's obligations to inventory and dispose of the vehicle, but nothing pertaining to the driver. She said that officers should demonstrate good judgment, but if an officer failed to do so and left a vulnerable person in a bad position without at least providing assistance in getting to a public telephone, there was nothing in G.O.'s to deal with that.
Robert Wells asked about the General Orders pertaining to minors. Bennington replied that there was nothing beyond the Towing General Order. Sobomehin asked if driving without proof of insurance is considered a criminal offense. Bennington said that it is a code violation. If an officer is asked for help, or if the subject is an a hazardous situation, then an officer could and should provide assistance. In this case, the officer did not believe the situation was hazardous. He had described the area as safe to walk, well-lit, and just a short distance from the supermarket.
Ford said the situation bothered him. Had it been his child, he would have been irate and he felt the officer should have demonstrated better judgment. He asked if the committee could recommend a change in the general order. Ueland agreed to include that in the upcoming monitoring report.
Weisberg added that he found the investigator's questioning style overly leading. Botsko said she had noted that for inclusion in the monitoring report.
Sobomehin made a motion to affirm the Bureau's finding. Ueland seconded. The motion carried unanimously [Y-10].
Announcements / New Business:
Anttila inquired about the NACOLE conference. Botsko said she would not be able to attend this year.
Ueland announced that the second/third quarter monitoring reports would be combined.
Ford was wondering about the decline in PIIAC appeals. Botsko said that this type of thing often goes in phases and not enough time has elasped to think there is any problem. Capt. Bennington said IAD was not experiencing any substantial decrease in caseload.
Capt. Bennington introduced Sgt. Vince Jarmer, a new IAD investigator, and Sgt. Pam Kauffman who was assigned to IAD temporarily until a fifth investigator could be placed. Sgt. Steve Bocher, also a new IAD investigator, was not able to attend tonight's meeting.
William Warren introduced himself as Mayor Katz's recent appointment to PIIAC. He said he previously worked as a neighborhood coalition crime specialist, and is presently a citizen involvement coordinator.
Capt. Bennington said that the Crisis Intervention Training will be conducted as part of the regular in-service program. Also, IAD complaint forms have been translated into other languages and went out for review in June. IAD is still awaiting feedback from the reviewers.
Public Input:
Several members of a downtown-area community group, Voices in Action, were in attendance and introduced themselves. A woman representative commented on the PIIAC appeal, saying that a minor female should not be left by herself. Even if young people don't show officers respect -- and the woman said she knows there are some who do not -- the officer should show the young people respect. In her opinion, the officer in this case had options.
The meeting adjourned.
Respectfully submitted,
Lisa Botsko