July 19, 2019 09:21
The Independent Police Review (IPR) recently released a policy review specific to the Portland Police Bureau's interactions with those in the houseless community. This review was done at the request of the Chief and the Mayor to help identify opportunities to strengthen policies and practices around this area. The Chief has reviewed the recommendations and provided responses, which can be located here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/737648
PPB is providing additional information for further context in interpreting the report:
* The IPR audit focused on a specific data set, which only included arrest data, which does not encapsulate the entirety of the Police Bureau's work,
* Since the Settlement Agreement went into effect in August of 2014, PPB has collected data about the number of police contacts involving a mental health component,
* Since April of 2017, an improved process was put into place to more effectively capture the data about demonstrated or perceived mental illness related to calls for service. This data is not captured on the booking form because this form is not the best form for data collection to produce adequate results in this area,
* PPB has worked in collaboration with the Department of Justice and the Compliance Officer Community Liaison to validate the data collection process for calls involving a mental health component,
* Not all of those individuals experiencing houselessness have mental health or drug addiction issues,
* As indicated in the report, over 60% of the arrests involved subjects with active warrants. ORS 137.060 commands officers to arrest a subject who has a valid bench warrant, which means officers do not have discretion in these situations,
* Arrests are made based upon legal justification, such as probable cause for crimes that were committed or in the event of a warrant,
* The focus of a criminal investigation is the elements of the crime, not on an individual's housing status or what particular group they may or may not belong to.
"We appreciate the time and attention the IPR team took to review our policies and provide recommendations," said Chief Danielle Outlaw. "While the report did not identify any actions by the Portland Police Bureau that criminalized persons experiencing houselessness, we recognize the recommendations can strengthen our existing policies and procedures and improve data collection for future analysis."
1111 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204