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Article 10 Community Police Oversight Board.

City Charter Article

[Article added November 3, 2020, effective December 2, 2020.]

Section 2-1001 City of Portland Community Police Oversight Board.

A Board is hereby authorized and shall be established upon compliance with any legal obligations the City may have under the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act, other state and federal laws, and upon adoption by City Council of an implementing Ordinance.  The mission of the City of Portland Community Police Oversight Board (Board) is to independently investigate Portland Police Bureau sworn employees and supervisors thereof promptly, fairly, and impartially, to impose discipline as determined appropriate by the Board, and to make recommendations regarding police practices, policies and directives to the Portland Police Bureau and with a primary focus on community concerns.  The final name of this Board will be established by City Code.

Section 2-1002 Nature of the Board.

Board members shall be appointed by approval of Council to a term of years established in City Code.  Members may not be removed from the Board prior to the completion of their term except for cause.  Successors to an unexpired term shall be appointed by approval of Council for the remainder of the term.  The Board shall make provisions to ensure its membership includes representation from diverse communities including those from diverse communities and with diverse lived experiences, particularly those who have experienced systemic racism and those who have experienced mental illness, addiction, or alcoholism.

Section 2-1003 Restrictions on Board Membership.

People currently employed by a law enforcement agency and their immediate family members are not eligible for service on the Board. People who were formerly employed by a law enforcement agency are not eligible for service on the Board.

Section 2-1005 Professional Staff of the Board.

The Board shall hire a Director to manage the professional administrative staff and professional investigators, and to make operational and administrative decisions. The Director is a “Bureau Director” for purposes of Charter section 4-301 and shall be appointed by, and serve at the will and pleasure of, the Board.  Professional staff of the Board, other than the Director, shall be appointed by and serve under the direction of the Director as classified employees.

Section 2-1006 Independent Authority.

The Board shall have authority to exercise independent judgment in performing all legally assigned powers and duties. The Mayor, City Council, Auditor, and City departments, bureaus and other administrative agencies shall not interfere in the exercise of the Board’s independent judgment. The physical office of the Board shall be located outside of a Portland Police Bureau facility.

Section 2-1007 Powers of the Board.

(a)  The Board shall have the power to the full extent allowed by law to receive and investigate complaints including the power to subpoena and compel documents, and to issue disciplinary action up to and including termination for all sworn members and the supervisors thereof within the Portland Police Bureau.

(b)  The Board shall have the authority to make policy and directive recommendations to the Portland Police Bureau and City Council. The Portland Police Bureau shall consider and accept or reject all policy or directive recommendations made by the Board. If the Portland Police Bureau rejects a policy or directive recommendation, then at the request of the Board, City Council must consider and vote to accept or reject the policy recommendations received from the Board.  Council’s decision will be binding on the Portland Police Bureau.

(c)  The Board shall have the authority and ability to gather and compel all evidence, to access all police records to the extent allowed by federal and state law, and the ability to compel statements from witnesses including officers. The Board shall make provisions for regular and open meetings, public transparency, and reporting on the Board’s activities. One of the goals of the Board will be to remove barriers for Board members to fully participate in the work of the Board.

(d)  The Board shall have the power to compel sworn members of the Portland Police Bureau and their supervisors to participate in investigations and to completely and truthfully answer all questions. Refusal to truthfully and completely answer all questions may result in discipline up to and including termination.

Section 2-1008 Duties of the Board.

The board shall have the authority to investigate certain Police actions, including but not limited to;

(a)  All deaths in custody and uses of deadly force.

(b)  All complaints of force that result in injury, discrimination against a protected class, violations of federal or state constitutional rights.

(c)  The Board may investigate other complaints or incidents of misconduct as they see fit or as mandated by City Code.

Section 2-1009 Severability.

For the purpose of determining constitutionality, every section, subsection and subdivision thereof of this Section, at any level of subdivision, shall be evaluated separately. If any section, subsection or subdivision at any level is held invalid, the remaining sections, subsections and subdivisions shall not be affected and shall remain in full force and effect. The courts shall sever those sections, subsections and subdivisions necessary to render this Section consistent with the United States Constitution and with the Oregon Constitution. Each section, subsection and subdivision thereof, at any level of subdivision, shall be considered severable, individually or in any combination.

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