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Police Bureau

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Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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0640.05 Gang Affiliation Designation



  • Gang Affiliation Designation Report Form (GET)
  • Resource/Contact List (GET)


POLICY (640.05)

The Bureau recognizes that criminal gangs, by their very nature, pose a grave threat to the safety of police and citizens who encounter them. The Bureau must gather and organize information about participants in criminal gang activity in order to effectively address the law enforcement problem which criminal gangs present.

The Bureau also recognizes that it is not a crime to be affiliated with a gang. Therefore, it is the policy of the Bureau that the designation of a person as a criminal gang affiliate does not give any member the authority to take action against that affiliate which could not be lawfully taken against a person not designated as a gang affiliate.

In order to avoid mistakenly designating persons as criminal gang affiliates, it is the policy of the Bureau that the listing as a gang affiliate will follow the criteria listed under Procedure.

PROCEDURE (640.05)

Directive Specific Definitions

Gang: An ongoing organization, association or group of three or more individuals who use both of the following:

a.  Use a gang name, common identifying sign or symbol, or acknowledge an identifiable leadership.

b.  Have a high rate of interaction among themselves to the exclusion of other persons or gangs.

A gang is criminal if individuals affiliated with it have committed two or more crimes, which involve any of the following:

a.  Benefit members of the group.

b.  Are committed as part of an initiation process or membership ritual.

c.  Are designed to announce the existence of the gang, its membership or its territorial claims.

d.  Are committed in response to the race, color, religion, sexual preference, national origin or gang association of the victim.

e.  Are designed to intimidate a victim in the name of the gang.

Gang affiliate: A person who participates in either the criminal or non-criminal behavior of a criminal gang listed above, or who actively pursues membership in a criminal gang by performing criminal acts intended to gain the approval of the gang.

A person will be designated as an affiliate of a criminal gang only when there is clear and convincing evidence that the person has been a criminal gang affiliate in the previous three years and, while a criminal gang affiliate, either one of the indicators on List A (listed below) was present, or two of the indicators of List B (listed below) were present.

a.  List A:

1.  The person admits or asserts affiliation with a criminal gang to the police.

2.  The person participates in a criminal gang initiation ritual or ceremony.

3.  The person conspires to commit, or commits a crime:

a)  Which is part of a pattern of street crimes facilitated by the efforts of other gang affiliates, which advance the interests of the person.

b)  To attract the attention of the criminal gang or enhance the standing of the person with the criminal gang.

c)  For the benefit of the gang.

d)  To announce the existence of the gang, its membership or its territorial claims.

e)  In response to the race, color, religion, sexual preference, national origin or gang association of the victim.

b.  List B:

1.  The person displays knowledge of the gang’s history, leadership, activities or rituals in a context that clearly indicates affiliation with the gang.

2.  The person announces to the police that the person is willing to commit assaults, crimes, or make other sacrifices for the gang.

3.  The person wears clothes or jewelry unique to a gang in a contest that clearly indicates affiliation with a gang.

4.  The person uses a hand sign or language which, due to content or context, clearly indicates affiliation with the gang.

5.  The person’s name appears on a criminal street gang document.

6.  The person is in a photograph with other people who collectively display criminal gang signs or apparel to exhibit solidarity.

7.  The person possesses a gang tattoo.

Responsibilities (640.05)

Member Creating Designation

Any member who believes it is appropriate to designate a person as a criminal gang affiliate must describe, in an official police report designed for that purpose, the specific conduct that corresponds to the gang affiliation indicators listed above. Any designation must contain a reference date which corresponds to the last incident of occurrence relied on for designation. This reference date will determine the purge date of the designation; therefore, all reports of conduct must document the date of the conduct. Refer to Gang Designation Report Form. The report must be routed to GET.

Gang Enforcement Team (640.05)

Designation Requests

A GET supervisor or designee will review all requests for criminal gang affiliation designation, and will recommend whether or not the request should result in designation. The GET supervisor or designee may not recommend designation unless both of the following are met:

a.  There is clear and convincing evidence the person presents at least one of the indicators from List A, or two indicators from List B.

b.  There is clear and convincing evidence the person is a criminal gang affiliate.

If the documentation, which accompanies a request, does not support designation, then the GET supervisor will send a form indicating the deficiency to the requestor’s RU manager.

If the GET supervisor recommends a person be designated as a gang affiliate, GET will send a notice of the recommendation to the last known address of the person. The Bureau will make a reasonable effort to determine the person’s last known address, which may include a search of PPDS, Oregon DMV files and Oregon Parole and Probation records.

The notice will include a list of the indicator(s) relied on to recommend designation, and will state that the supporting police report may be reviewed in person, without charge, at the GET office. The notice will prominently announce that the recommendation will result in a designation of the person as a gang affiliate in 30 calendar days from the mailing of the notice, unless the person (or parent or legal guardian if the person is a minor or under a guardianship) requests a hearing in writing before that time at the GET office. The notice will describe the hearing and appeal process set out below.

GET will place letters, which are returned as undeliverable in the designation file,  and designation will occur in accordance with this directive.

If the potential designee has been personally given notice of an impending designation, the member giving the notice will document this on the designation report.

A list of pending designations will be maintained at the GET offices. Upon request, any person will be told whether he/she is on the list of pending designations, and parents or guardians will be told if their children or wards are on the list.

If a potential designee does not properly request a hearing, GET will send the recommendation for designation to the Records Division (Records) for review and entry of the designation.

All potential designees who properly request a hearing will be provided with one before any action is taken of designation. Parents and legal guardians may request hearings for minors and wards.

The hearings process consists of two hearing stages and a Manager’s Review stage.  The first hearing stage consists of a hearing before a GET supervisor. At the conclusion of this hearing, the potential designee will be advised to GET’s recommendation on designation.

First Stage Hearing (640.05)

The first stage hearing will occur within 21 calendar days of receipt of a request for a hearing by GET unless the potential designee agrees to a hearing at a later date or the potential designee is incarcerated. Hearings will be provided to potential designees incarcerated in Oregon within 30 calendar days of receipt of a request for a hearing. Hearings for those individuals incarcerated may be conducted by correspondence or over the phone, at the discretion of GET.

At the hearing, a potential designee may present any information that bears on the applicability of the designation criteria, and will be asked for a correspondence address.

Second Stage Hearing (640.05)

If GET continues to recommend designation following the first stage hearing, the potential designee may request a second stage hearing before a panel comprised of representatives from diverse cultural groups, youth service agencies and neighborhood programs. A request for a second stage hearing must be made in writing and directed to GET within 10 business days following the first stage hearing. A second stage hearing will be conducted within 21 calendar days from receipt of the written request.

Manager’s Review and Final Appeals Process (640.05)

Following the second stage hearing, recommendations concerning designation, from both hearings, will be submitted to the Tactical Operations Division (TOD) manager or designated command members for review within five business days of the completed second stage hearing.

The TOD manager will determine whether gang affiliation designation is supported by clear and convincing evidence and meets the stated criteria. The potential designee will be informed of the decision by letter mailed to the address provided at the first stage hearing by the potential designee. If the manager’s decision is to designate, the decision will become effective after 10 business days unless the potential designee appeals the decision to a City Code Hearings Officer (CCHO). A notice of appeal to the CCHO must be submitted in writing within 10 business days of the date on the designation notice and must comply with requirements set by the Code Hearings Office. The designation notice will list the steps a potential designee must take to initiate an appeal hearing before the CCHO.

On receipt of a proper notice of appeal, the City Code Hearings Office will schedule an appeal hearing and notify GET and the potential designee of a hearing date. Following the hearing on the appeal, the City Code Hearings Office will notify both GET and the potential designee of its decision.

If the hearings office upholds the recommendation to designate, or if the potential designee fails to challenge the proposed designation by requesting a hearing or appeal within the applicable time guidelines, GET will forward the Gang Designation Report to Records for review and entry.

Records Division (640.05)

Records will review all requests for criminal gang affiliation designation received from GET to ensure the Bureau’s criteria are met. If the documentation presented to Records supports designation, the record of the subject will be updated to reflect the gang affiliation.

Any designation must contain a reference date which corresponds to the last incident of occurrence relied on for designation. This reference date will determine the purge date of the designation.

If the documented conduct does not support designation, the record of the person will not be updated and a form indicating the deficiency in the documentation will be sent to GET and the requestor’s RU manager.

Appeals of Existing Designations (640.05)

Any person on the gang affiliates list will be provided a hearing to challenge the designation if:

a.  The person has not previously brought a challenge to the designation.

b.  The person submits clear and convincing evidence to GET that the person was not receiving mail from the address to which the designation notice was sent and did not have actual notice of the impending designation.

All challenges to existing designations will be routed to GET for processing. Upon receipt of a valid challenge to an existing designation, GET will provide a designated person with a hearing within 45 calendar days. The hearing and subsequent appeal procedure will be the same as that for potential designees. At the conclusion of the appeals process, in the event there is a change in the designation status, GET will forward a Special Report to Records to update the person’s PPDS record.

Purge Process (640.05)

The designation will expire four years after the incident on which it is based. If during this four-year period the person engages in conduct or behavior that meets the designation criteria, the person may be re-designated by means of the initial gang designation process outlined in this directive.

The designation of gang affiliate is entered as a flag on a person’s PPDS record. The flag will remain on the record until it is purged by Records four years from the date of the last incident of occurrence relied on for designation.

A designated person will not accumulate time toward the purge parameter if the person is deceased, incarcerated, or on parole or probation for a felony or a weapons violation.

Each month the Information Technology Division (ITD) will publish and distribute a list of designated individuals subject to purging in six months time. Members having information that will support a redesignation must forward a Gang Affiliation Designation Report form containing supporting documentation to GET which will initiate a redesignation process.

Improper Designations (640.05)

In the event an individual is improperly designated as a gang affiliate, any member may submit a Special Report to GET requesting to rescind the designation. GET will review the information submitted and forward the Special Report, along with a request to have the designation removed, to Records. Records will be responsible for removing the designation, thereby updating the person’s PPDS record.