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February 2013 Minutes

Slavic Advisory Council

February 22, 2013


Present:  Baruti Artharee, Dimitriy Bezzubets, Vadim Bezzubets, Tatyana Bondarchuk, Yuriy Boyechko, Lt. Larry Graham, Diane Haman, Officer Natasha Haunsperger, Donna Henderson, Olga Kaganova, Irina Kocharov, Irina Konev, Commander Mike Lee, Vladimir Lukyanov, Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea, Sergey Petukhov, Karina Rutova, Natalya Sobolevskaya, Det. Tom Walker

Welcome and introductions:  Policy Director to the Mayor’s Office Baruti Artharee introduced himself to the committee and provided information about himself and his background.  

Family Services Division - Gresham Detective Tom Walker

Child Abuse and Reporting Child Abuse

  • You can physically discipline your child as long as it only results in transient pain or a little bit of redness.  Physical abuse is when there is bruising and/or broken bones. 
  • The goal is to correct a child’s behavior as long as it does not cause a physical injury. 
  • Recommend that only hands are used, no one strikes with a belt or paddle. 
  • Question:  What if a child has been slapped on the back of the head (not showing a mark) that can result in mental illness in a child?   

Response: Officers would take a report even though an injury is not present.  It would show up at a medical facility. The Department of Human Services (DHS) would look into the case.

  • If determined a crime has been committed (a physical injury has occurred) we work with Cares Northwest.  Cares Northwest is a medical resource and child intervention center that works with law enforcement.  They have interviewers to talk to children to get an accurate story of what has taken place.
  • Question:  Can children be interviewed without parents being present? 

Response: Yes.

  • There is a Child Abuse hot line a person can call and report something they have seen. 
  • There are situations (this is a case by case basis) where the DHS workers would visit the family if it’s something the police can’t do.  They would develop a safety plan or provide resources, etc.
  • There is a cross reporting system in place for law enforcement, district attorney’s and DHS. 
  • DHS will go out on neglect cases, this is a broad spectrum, could be living conditions are unhealthy, could be neglect, unsafe environment, etc.
  • Question: How the community can get statistics? 

Response:  We can do general but not specific statistics.   It’s possible that DHS tracks this type of information.

  • Question:  Is there printed information on child supervision? 

Response:  Cares Northwest and/or DHS has access to all types of information.


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  • Language and cultural barriers do exist and at times cultural remedies boarder child abuse.  This is something DHS is aware of.
  • Member stated that it is common for youth to manipulate the system, this comes up all the time, there is a fear amongst parents.  

Response: You have to do what is reasonable, if you think you might harm someone walk away and cool off. 

  • When dealing with teenagers, parents want to be strict, and take things away (like cell phone), go ahead and take the object away.  If a child threatens they will call the police, let them.   The police are not going to take the child on face value, if there is a language barrier they won’t just take the word of the one speaking english.
  • Question:  What are the consequences if a child makes a 911 call and says there is abuse but it’s not true?

Response: If we determine it is a false report and we can prove a crime has not been committed nothing will happen.  Officers are reasonable people, they will come out have some talks and leave.  It then falls back to the parents to handle as they want.

  • If a child is being sexually abused it needs to get reported to the police.  It could be the difference of happening one time or 100 times.  The ultimate goal is to make it stop
  • Cases are confidential. 



How do you as the community feel and how can we (the police) learn more from you and raise awareness?

  • There needs to be cultural competence so police can understand a parent’s behavior.
  • Refugees from former Soviet Union they look at the government and police and still see the past.  This is still strong after they have been here 15 – 20 plus years.
  • Fear from older generations is if they don’t discipline in traditional ways and values then the youth will have a bad life style.   Some feel that there are biases, police give more lee-way to Americans versus refugees/immigrants.
  • Slavic traditional churches follow what is biblical.
  • How can we recognize what is going on with a child, physically and psychologically? Would like to learn how to recognize signs of abuse. 
  • Would like to learn how to talk to our teens in a positive way.
  • In extreme cases parents might not take kids to the hospital for fear of getting in trouble.
  • Women in churches fear reporting things to the police because it may show disgrace towards the husband and that generates problems with community.


Police Bureau Slavic Seminar

  • Commander Mike Lee will look into getting a large venue and have an all day seminar with a variety of stations.  Hope to do this early summer. 


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Police Bureau Slavic Seminar (continued)

  • A sub-committee will be needed to work on the seminar.
  • Possibly add entertainment so it’s not all education. 
  • Could possibly have 300 to 900 people attend.
  • Involve representatives from the churches.
  • Should have a station for prevention of crime for teens.  Teens will know everything is now out in the open, right now they have knowledge that parents don’t’ have.


Administrative Business – Natasha Haunsperger

  • As an agency we opened the door, we need input from this council.
  • A member of the Slavic Advisory Council is needed to co-chair with Officer Haunsperger.
  • Olga Kaganova will coordinate the monthly agendas with Natasha
  • On the bureau side we plan to have more speakers so this council will get an idea of the entire process and be able to share information with the community.
  • We will work on a training video based on the information that was given today. 


Suggestions for Next Meeting:

  • Have a discussion on what the goal is for this group.
  • Have a discussion time for committee members to provide information on their  culture, traditions and beliefs.   The police can give the committee feedback from what they hear about the Slavic experiences.
  • A draft of the Slavic Advisory Council Mission Statement was distributed to the group for feedback.  Natasha asked the group to e-mail feedback prior to the March meeting.
  • A list of education topics was provided to the members and asked that each person select their top three.  This will help to prioritize future training and education pieces. 



  • Officer Haunsperger and Diane Haman me with PPB Jason Ruby to create a Slavic Advisory Facebook site.
  • Yuri Boyechko is the designee to provide information on events that will be posted on the Slavic Facebook page. 


Next meeting:

Thursday, March 14th

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

East Precinct Community Room


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