Fixing Police Oversight

On July 1, 2020, The Oregonian published an “IN OUR OPINION” piece by LWV of Portland Action Chair, Debbie Aiona, and founding member of Portland Copwatch, Dan Handelman. The Portland League and Portland Copwatch have been working to improve police oversight for decades. In their Opinion article, they recommended changes to make the system more effective. These would give more power to Portland’s Independent Police Review (IPR) office and its Citizens Review Committee (CRC).

  • Ensure that in addition to being able to subpoena civilians and documents, IPR has the power to compel officers to testify or face discipline if they refuse. The office also should be given the authority to access all relevant police files.
  • Empower IPR to investigate incidents in which police officers use deadly force, and give survivors or their family members the right to appeal their cases to the IPR’s Citizen Review Committee.
  • Empower the CRC to review cases based on whether the majority of the evidence supports a given finding, rather than having to defer to police bureau decisions.

You can read the entire article here.

Police Bureau Community Engagement

On October 2, 2019, LWVPDX Action Chair Debbie Aiona testified to the Portland City Council and Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw.  She suggested ways to improve the Police Bureau’s Community Engagement Plan. She urged the PPB to be proactive in its attempts to engage the public. In addition, she offered ideas for improving the Bureau’s outreach to citizens. You can read all of her suggestions here.