Portland Police Chief Mike Reese has urged city commissioners not to give the Independent Police Review Division free rein to conduct independent inquiries of his officers or civilian police bureau members, reports The Oregonian. The chief also opposed efforts to grant the Independent Police Review Division the authority to compel officers or civilian police bureau staff to answer questions as part of any independent investigations.
It was the first airing before the council of a package of proposed changes intended to strengthen police oversight and require more information be made public on the police chief’s disciplinary decisions. Constantin Severe, the director of the Independent Police Review Division, said the increased powers are necessary to respond to a scathing U.S. Justice Department report, which found that Portland police engaged in a pattern of using excessive force against people with mentall illness. “This is something that we all own,” Severe said of the federal findings. “This is our responsibility to fix. It’s our fault the DOJ had to come into Portland.”