PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The Portland Police Bureau is now required to hire an independent team to oversee its officers as part of the settlement with the Department of Justice.
The department must prove to a third-party committee they are capable of proper training and discipline.
Reverend Leroy Haynes with the Albina Ministerial Alliance for Justice and Police Reform has been pushing for these changes for the PPB.
“When there’s a division between police and the community you have an explosive situation that can very easily get out of hand,” Haynes said.
Mayor Charlie Hales is also in favor of these changes. He is asking the city council to approve a new team of experts that will help make sure those reforms continue.
The team is made up of professionals with experience in police community relations and they will operate independently of the department.
“This is an effort to carry out real change in how our police officers encounter our citizens, understand their diversity in both ethnicity and culture and their state of mind, and be able to do their work more humanely,” Hales said.
“We have new rules for use of force, use of Tasers, and really practice de-escalation,” he said.
City leaders know there is a lot of work that needs to be done to rebuild community trust with the PPB.
“We have the possibility of gaining something that will not only be good for Portland,” Rev. Haynes said, “but bring about and rebuild the ties between the police and the community but as a model for the whole nation.”‘