Welcome to the Portland Police Bureau’s News Beat for November, 2020. While we can’t highlight all the public safety issues and crime addressed by Portland Police Officers, here is a snapshot of what we’ve been discussing over the last month:
It’s no secret that police reform has been widely discussed over many months, and the Portland Police Bureau has received many questions about the Bureau’s policies, trainings and reform.
At PPB, Work is being done. First, on use of force.
In collaboration with the Department of Justice, or DOJ, the Bureau has spent many years enhancing its training, revamping its policies and improving its transparency and service to the community.
In 2012, the City of Portland entered into a Settlement Agreement with the DOJ.
In 2018, after approval from the DOJ, the Bureau enacted Directive 1010.00, Use of Force; and initiated the six-month review process.
The community has the opportunity to provide feedback to all PPB directives. Please see our website for information.
The Portland Police Bureau is committed to upholding the civil rights of all individuals, protecting human life and property, and maintaining civil order. The Bureau’s commitment to public safety includes ensuring the welfare of members of the public, its officers and professional staff, with an emphasis on the sanctity of life and policing with respect.
On the topic of Equity, PPB has had an Equity and Inclusion Office for over five years. The Equity team is tasked with furthering equity within the Bureau. PPB has also committed to a five-year Racial Equity Plan.
On Community Engagement:
The Portland Police Bureau is committed to enhancing its existing community engagement efforts by reinforcing our external trust and legitimacy with communities we serve.
The creation of the Office of Community Engagement in 2017 demonstrated the Bureau's commitment to institutionalizing community engagement and community policing practices.
The Office of Community Engagement has been working with local social justice and civic society organizations in addressing a host of justice-related issues with the goal of enhancing collective livability, resiliency and justice advocacy.
We believe in continuing to evolve and meet our community’s expectations. We look forward to working with our community on additional transformation. One way we do that is engaging our robust advisory councils. Current advisory groups include African-American Advisory Council, Slavic Advisory Council, Alliance for Safer Communities (focusing on the LGBTQ community),
Muslim Advisory Council, Behavioral Health Advisory Council, Training Advisory Council, Equity Advisory Council and Latino Advisory Council.
These councils help the Police Bureau make decisions with the benefit of a diverse set of inputs.
So where is PPB on the topic of reform?
The 8 Can’t-Wait Campaign has focused on eight reforms. Here’s where we stand.
1. Require De-escalation
The Bureau provides training in all categories of force and de-escalation techniques, as well as providing sufficient resources, to help members safely resolve confrontations through de-escalation.
2. Require Use Of Force Continuum
Use of force continuum is a dated concept that has evolved into a more knowledgeable options-based theory. Our officers are taught to respect the sanctity of life – whether it be a subject, victim or their own life.
3. Require Comprehensive Reporting
The Bureau has extensive and specific reporting requirements regarding the use of deadly force. They are spelled out in our policy manual under directive 1010.10.
4. Require Warning Before Shooting
Our policy requires a member to give a verbal warning to the subject, if time, safety, and circumstances permit.
5. Duty To Intervene
The Use of Force directive says that members have a duty to reasonably intercede to prevent the use of unlawful force by another police bureau member.
6. Ban Carotid Holds
By policy carotid neck holds are considered a use of deadly force. The Portland Police Bureau is currently reviewing proposed and current legislation and will comply accordingly.
7. Ban Shooting At Moving Vehicles
The only situation in which an officer is authorized to fire upon a moving vehicle is when “an immediate risk of death or serious physical injury to the member or others exists.”
And number 8. Exhaust All Alternatives Before Shooting
The PPB’s use of deadly force policy is more restrictive than State and Federal law.
Our policy states that members may use deadly force to protect themselves or others from what they reasonably believe to be an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury; or, if necessary to prevent escape, a member may use deadly force where the member has probable cause to believe that the subject has committed a felony crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, and the member believes the subject poses an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the member or others.
You can read more about where we stand on police reform, use of force, equity, and community engagement. It’s all on our website, portlandpolice.com.
This year has been a deadly one on our roads. More than 50 people have died in Portland due to traffic crashes in 2020. That includes those traveling in vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Officers continue to provide enforcement and raise awareness regarding traffic safety.
Each year, officers respond to preventable collisions. These collisions can deeply impact those involved, their families, and loved ones. Traffic officers' number one priority is to address behaviors of all road users that might lead to a collision. Those include speed, impairment, distraction, and disobeying signals.
During these dark winter months, everyone plays a role in safety on Portland’s roads.
If you’re a pedestrian, consider wearing bright or fluorescent clothing and carry something that lights up. Bicyclists, should ensure you have the required lights for nighttime. And drivers, reduce speed and use caution especially in inclement weather. Remember that some other road users can be hard to see.
‘Tis the season ... for package thieves
The pandemic makes this a very challenging holiday season, and shoppers are making additional online orders.
While more people are currently home for package deliveries during COVID-19, you should still immediately retrieve the package from your doorstep. Package thieves have been known to follow delivery vehicles in order to swoop in and immediately grab the packages after delivery.
If you are not going to be home during a scheduled delivery time, ask a trusted neighbor or relative to secure the packages or have them shipped to a place where someone will be home.
If you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1 or to report a theft, visit the online reporting page on our website, or call the police non-emergency line 503-823- 3333.