Policy changes have improved PPB’s handling of officer-involved shootings, police spokesman claims

KATU.com, August 14, 2014

Pete Simpson

Pete Simpson

At first glance it looked more like a street in the Middle East, not one in middle America.

Even though Ferguson is 2,000 miles away, Portland’s finest are feeling that city’s pain.

“To see this kind of thing happening in the U.S., this is an emotional event for everyone involved. The emotions are extending to all corners of the U.S.; we are paying attention to that and conscious of that,” Portland’s police spokesman Pete Simpson said.

Simpson knows the bureau has had its share of problems over the past few decades and was even forced to make several policy changes by the Department of Justice.

He hesitates to criticize how police have handled things in Ferguson, but he says one of the best changes Portland police made deals with how they handle officer-involved shootings.

“We know these are high-profile events. We know a lack of info can lead people to draw conclusions that are incorrect or draw conclusions that something must be wrong, they are hiding something,” Simpson said.

Simpson says they release the officer’s name, something that still hasn’t been done in Ferguson, and why he or she felt they had to use their gun, all in an effort to build trust with the public.