OIR Group to investigate Portland Police culture

Portland

They will look into racial bias, political bias and resistance to change

PORTLAND, OR – AUGUST 29: A Portland police officer guards the scene of a fatal shooting near a pro-Trump rally on August 29, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Far left counter-protesters and pro-Trump supporters clashed Saturday afternoon as a parade of cars carrying right wing supporters made their way from nearby Clackamas to Portland. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The OIR Group, an organization known for conducting independent police oversight and reviews, has been hired to look into the Portland Police Bureau.

The OIR Group will “conduct independent, outside investigation into potential racial bias, political bias, and resistance to change within the Portland Police Bureau. The investigation stems from the unauthorized and inappropriate release of information that falsely identified Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty as a suspect in a hit and run crash,” a press release from the city said.

Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty made the announcement together that the City of Portland had hired OIR Group. They are already investigating the unauthorized leak of information.

According to the press release, this is what they will be looking into:

Racial Bias: Are the Police Bureau’s policies, culture, or actions influenced by racial bias? If so, what is the extent of any racial bias, what are the root causes of any racial bias, and what are the best practices to addresses those root causes?

Political Bias: Are the Police Bureau’s policies, culture, or actions influenced by political bias? If so, what is the extent of any political bias, what are the root causes of any political bias, and what are the best practices to address those root causes?

Resistance to Change: Are the Police Bureau’s policies, culture, or actions resistant to change sought by the community? If so, what is the extent of that resistance, what are the root causes of that resistance, and what are the best practices to address that resistance?

They are set to deliver their report by the end of the year.

“The Portland Police Bureau has cooperated with many outside audits and reviews over the years, including reviews by the OIR group,” said PPB Chief Chuck Lovell in a statement. “The Portland Police Bureau expects its members to reflect the values of the bureau and city and regularly adapts directives and training with community or other outside input. We will continue to serve the community openly and equitably.”

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