Community leaders, police discuss reform and oversight

2020 Protests

The forum was held via Zoom

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There are calls for police reform across the country. On Monday night, community leaders in Portland came together to have a forum to discuss how the police bureau could improve accountability.

There have been 46 consecutive nights of demonstrations in downtown Portland over police brutality.

“We’ve hit about 50 individual investigations that are based on the protests and that’s quite a few for us,” said Ross Caldwell with the Independent Police Review, which is a branch of the auditor’s office that investigates and monitors allegations of misconduct by Portland police officers.

The Citizen Review Committee and local leaders discussed various topics from how police respond to mental health issues to body cameras.

“I think it’s such a disservice to our officers and the community not to have since some of the smaller agencies out of the 14,000 police agencies in this country. We need to catch up with the times, it’s about accountability and both sides need that,” said Mark Wells of the Public Safety Action Coalition.

Police Union President Daryl Turner and Chief Chuck Lovell both support the idea of body cameras, but say there are pros and cons.

“Body cameras are very expensive. Not so much for the outset, but for the storage, and management, and auditing of the data—especially for the city the size of Portland,” Lovell.

Another issue that was brought up was how to identify and report an officer if there was a problem. Lovell said this was being addressed.

“We have ordered officers a new name tape with their personnel number, which is in the same font and same size as the previous name tapes,” said Lovell.

As the Portland Police Bureau moves forward, Monday night’s meeting was about listening to the community.

“I am happy to hear what people think and what people have to say and I’m looking forward to ways we can incorporate some of that stuff into what we do at the police bureau,” said Lovell.

If there is a concern about misconduct with a Portland police officer, you can file a complaint with the Independent Police Review.

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