News | Oregon

Portland Police, City, Feds Come To Civil Rights Agreement

OPB | Nov. 6, 2013 3:30 p.m. | Updated: Nov. 6, 2013 8:43 p.m. | Portland

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After years of wrangling, the Portland Police, the city and the federal government have come to an agreement on how to avoid violating the civil rights of residents during police confrontations.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales announces tentative agreement between the US Department of Justice, Portland Police, the Portland Police Union and the City.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales announces tentative agreement between the US Department of Justice, Portland Police, the Portland Police Union and the City.

Kristian Foden-Vencil

The US Justice Department found last year that Portland police had been using excessive force, particularly with people suffering mental illness. Police Chief Mike Reese says the city, the police union and the feds have agreed on needed policy changes.

“Over the last year, the police bureau has implemented new force policies, training, we’re requiring sergeants to respond to the scene of every force encounter, to conduct an investigation,” he said.

“That investigation is then reviewed by our force inspector who analyses these instances for trends and issues regarding policy and performance.”

Intense negotiations between the city and the police union helped secure the agreement. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales says the city now has now a tentative agreement on the union contract.

A federal judge is expected to set a ‘Fairness Hearing’ so the public can comment on the agreement before it’s finalized.

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