Today at City Hall (1221 SW 4th St) at 2 pm, citizens will ask our city commisioners to accept the findings of a recent audit on the Police Review Board. We demand more transparency and accountability of Portland police! Be there to make your voice known!
A long-awaited assessment report on the "Independent" Police Review Division (IPR)--Portland's "Civilian Police Review Board"-- was released on January 24. It contains a lot of useful information, with some basic concerns about the IPR system community members have been pointing out for years. This includes that the IPR doesn't do independent investigations, its 9- member Citizen Review Committee (CRC) doesn't have enough power, the public doesn't know the system exists, and those who use it are far less satisfied than the officers who do. It reveals that officers are sometimes not disciplined even after they admit to or are found to have violated Bureau policies. And, perhaps most clearly, it shows that the system is nearly impossible to understand and tends toward "behind the scenes" work instead of being open and transparent to the public.
On the other hand, the report doesn't go far enough. The mistrust the report wisely notes that the community has for the system is based on the IPR's dependence on the Police Bureau. Currently, all investigations of civilian complaints go to the Bureau's Internal Affairs Division (IAD). The report's recommendation is for some investigations to be done by civilian investigators, not all.
The Verdict: Portland's system of ensuring police accountability is desperately flawed | 186 page report