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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

January 13, 2000

Police Internal Investigations Auditing Committee
January 13, 2000
(Approved February 10, 2000)
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Denise Stone (Vice Chair); Robert Ueland; Ric Alexander Jose Martinez; Dapo Sobomehin; Kitsy Brown Mahoney; Shirlie Karl
Citizen Advisors Absent: Robert Wells; Gene Bales
City Staff Present: Capt. Bret Smith, IAD; Sgt. Jerry Jones, IAD; Sgt. Vince Jarmer, IAD; Sgt. Suzanne Whisler, IAD; Sgt. Steve Bottcher, IAD; Dr. Michael Hess, PIIAC Examiner
Media Present: Dan Handelman (Portland Copwatch); Sean Nelson (The Asian Reporter)
Mr. Ford opened the meeting at approximately 5:30 p.m. PIIAC Citizen Advisors and City Staff introduced themselves. Mr. Ford welcomed new PIIAC advisor, Mr. Tou Cha.
The minutes of the December 9, 1999, PIIAC meeting were approved.
PIIAC #99-26 (IAD #98-341)
Advisor Stone presented this case, including a summary and recommendations. Appellant was present.
Appellant alleged that when she called the Traffic Division requesting to view the Photo Radar manual, the sergeant who answered the phone (1) hindered her ability to view public records by adding additional costs to the normal fees and (2) exhibited rude conduct toward her.
Advisor Stone recommended the PIIAC Advisory Committee affirm the decision by the Traffic Division captain to close the inquiry on this complaint and not proceed with a full IAD investigation. Ms. Stone noted that as a result of this complaint, the Traffic Division has set standards of review of public records and has clarified the fee schedule; that Traffic Division supervisors have been debriefed in public records procedures; and that Sergeant A was counseled in issues of courtesy.
Advisor Stone further recommended that the PIIAC Monitoring Subcommittee should review the issues of clearer disposition letters and better precinct level interviews.
The Appellant summarized her complaints as follows:
  1. No clear disposition was made regarding her complaint.
  2. Captain Bell applied improper standards in determining the disposition of the complaint.
  3. Captain Nelson was improperly assigned to conduct the investigation since he had a current IAD complaint lodged against him by the same complainant.
  4. Captain Bell's issuance of findings violates the procedural integrity of IAD.
Advisor Ueland made a motion to reaffirm Captain Bell's decision to close the inquiry and not proceed with a formal IAD investigation. Advisor Martinez seconded the motion.
The motion carried unanimously [Y=11]
Dr. Hess advised the Appellant to submit a written request within 30 days if she desires to take his appeal before City Council. She immediately submitted a written request for a City Council hearing.
Reading, Discussion, and Approval of the 1999 Monitoring Subcommittee Report
Advisor Robert Ueland, Chair of the PIIAC Monitoring Subcommittee, presented the 1999 Monitoring Report and recommendations. He explained that due to staff turnover, the report covers the last quarter of 1998 and all four quarters of 1999. Monitoring Reports will resume on a quarterly basis now that PIIAC is back to full strength.
The recommendations of the Monitoring Subcommittee were as follows:
  1. that a minimum of three additional sergeants and one lieutenant be assigned to IAD.
  2. that the General Order 310.40 on Courtesy be re-examined in relation to the use of profanity.
  3. that the Police Bureau regularly cycle a refresher course of diversity training in the In-Service training for all officers.
    Mr. Tou Cha suggested adding the following recommendation:
  4. that the IAD complaint forms and brochures be provided in the Hmong and Mien languages in addition to the languages in which they are currently available.
With other minor editorial revisions, the Monitoring Report was unanimously approved.
Other Business
Mr. Ford announced that the next meeting of the PIIAC advisory committee [February 10, 2000] would again be held in the Rose Room of the Portland City Hall. Mr. Sobomehin requested that the time of the meeting be changed from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and the committee approved this.
Public Input
A citizen stated that reports of rude and discourteous by police officers have been increasing in the community. She stated that police officers who resort to profanity, rather than gaining control, in reality lose control by further inflaming an already difficult situation. She described use of profanity as "throwing gasoline on a fire."
Mr. Handelman of Portland Copwatch suggested that the IAD statistics be attached to the Monitoring Report. (Captain Smith stated that he had no problem with this since the IAD statistics are a public record.) Regarding the prohibition on use of epithets or terms to denigrate a person based on gender, race, etc., Mr. Handelman asked that a person's physical and mental condition be added to that list.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by
Michael H. Hess, D.D.S.
PIIAC Examiner