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Update on Status of Investigation into Police Bureau, Racial and Political Bias, and Resistance to Change

Press Release
Published

Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty today announced the City of Portland signed a contract with the OIR Group to conduct an independent, outside investigation into potential racial bias, political bias, and resistance to change within the Portland Police Bureau. The investigation stems from the unauthorized and inappropriate release of information that falsely identified Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty as a suspect in a hit and run crash.

The Mayor and Commissioner confirmed the OIR Group, which already is investigating the unauthorized leak of information, will also conduct a broader look at the Police Bureau’s culture.

The initial scope, which is not to exceed $150,000, for the new OIR Group investigation includes:

Racial Bias: Are the Police Bureau’s policies, culture, or actions influenced by racial bias? If so, what is the extent of any racial bias, what are the root causes of any racial bias, and what are the best practices to addresses those root causes?

Political Bias: Are the Police Bureau’s policies, culture, or actions influenced by political bias? If so, what is the extent of any political bias, what are the root causes of any political bias, and what are the best practices to address those root causes?

Resistance to Change: Are the Police Bureau’s policies, culture, or actions resistant to change sought by the community? If so, what is the extent of that resistance, what are the root causes of that resistance, and what are the best practices to address that resistance?

Under the contract, the OIR Group will provide a final written report addressing the matters above to the City Attorney no later than December 31, 2021. With the approval of the City Attorney, the OIR Group may subcontract with other organizations for survey and data analysis, the development of actionable recommendations, and any other services needed to support the independent review. The cost for any subcontracts shall be paid by OIR Group, and the City’s contract with OIR Group may be amended to account for additional subcontract costs.

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