Portland Chief To Overhaul Use Of Force Policies


Portland police used force slightly more often than officers in a handful of comparable cities, yet the police department did not uphold a single citizen complaint between 2004 and 2006, said a task force quoted by The Oregonian. Other U.S. police agencies uphold between 8 and 14 percent of citizen complaints about excessive force, say federal statistics. The Portland task force did not conclude that Portland police use force too frequently or that the department failed to take citizen complaints seriously. Iit concluded that Portland’s use-of-force policy meets only the minimal constitutional requirements and should be tightened.

Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer said she already has started overhauling the policy and expects to have a new one in place by next year. She pledged to provide more training and to track more closely the frequency that officers use force. Sizer said police use force in fewer than 1 percent of calls and 5 percent of all arrests. In addition, 83 percent of the time, officers used least forceful tactics, such as control holds and pressure points.

Link: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1177471542189920.xml&coll=7

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