Police reforms FAQ

From The Oregonian, November 6, 2013

GavelHere are some answers to questions you may have on the pending U.S. Department of Justice settlement with the city of Portland on reforms to the Portland Police Bureau:

Why are the reforms necessary?

The U.S. Department of Justice last fall completed a nearly 15-month investigation that found Portland officers used excessive force on people with mental illness. It also found police engaged in unjustified use of Tasers against people with mental illness. Federal officials called for a package of reforms to police policies, training and oversight.

What happened next?

The city and federal officials proposed widespread changes that the City Council adopted on Nov. 14, 2012. They called for new policies on use of force, Tasers, training, supervision and oversight. They also demanded restructured police crisis intervention training and quicker internal affairs inquiries into alleged police misconduct.

Why did the Portland Police Association object?

When the settlement agreement went before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon for review and approval, the police union argued that many of the reforms should be part of mandatory bargaining because they affected disciplinary procedures and officer working conditions remained on hold since then.

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