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Police Reform Comes Before Portland City Council

City Cast Portland staff
City Cast Portland staff
Posted on August 14
city hall building with columns, sidewalk in front and buildings behind

Portland City Hall (Rachel Monahan/City Cast Portland)

Portland City Council is about to take up the issue of police oversight. Here’s a roundup of related news:

New Police Oversight Board

At the end of August, Portland City Council will take up the issue of independent oversight of the Portland Police Bureau. Council will have 60 days to alter or accept the current proposal. Voters in 2020 approved a new police oversight board to “investigate, discipline and even fire police officers who engaged in misconduct,” Willamette Week reports. [Willamette Week]

Memo to Police: Stop Blaming the DA

In a May 4 memo, revealed for the first time last week, Police Chief Chuck Lovell directed police officers to stop blaming Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt (inaccurately) for inaction on crime. “What is completely unacceptable is telling a community member that you will not take police action because the District Attorney refuses to prosecute cases,” the chief wrote in the memo obtained by the Oregonian. [Oregonian]

PPB Lobbied for Funding with Lack of Traffic Enforcement

In 2021, police highlighted the fact that they would no longer have a traffic enforcement division. Last week, Bike Portland got Sgt. Ty Engstrom to admit that the public effort to highlight lack of enforcement was about getting more funding for police: “We needed to create a stir to get some change, to get them [City Council] to fund us back up. And I mean, that’s the honest truth. I know, that could make things more dangerous. I don’t know. But at the same time, we needed some change.” [Bike Portland]

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