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Portland Changes Police Use-Of-Force Policies

OPB | Nov. 14, 2012 4:10 p.m. | Portland

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Portland City Hall

Portland City Hall

City of Portland

Portland city commissioners voted Wednesday to accept an agreement with the U.S. Civil Rights Division that outlines intended changes to the police bureau’s use of force policy.

The agreement is 83 pages long and comes after the federal Justice Department found Portland police engaged in a pattern of using excessive force against people with mental illnesses. The document outlines changes in everything from the way stun guns are used to requiring officers complete an “after action report” within three days of using force.

The vote to accept the agreement was unanimous. But some commissioners, including Nick Fish, have misgivings about the cost.

“Given the inadequate resources around prevention and addressing problems before they result in tragedy, I have a real concern about committing long-term money in this way,” Fish said.

Mayor Sam Adams said the cost of the changes was negotiated down to about $3.5 million. He says that’s less than the $5.5 million that Seattle is paying to implement similar changes in its police force.

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