PORTLAND, Ore. – The City of Portland is getting some extra time to draft a plan about how to reform the police bureau.
In September, the Department of Justice found the Portland Police Bureau engaged in a “pattern or practice of excessive force against people with mental illness.”
The feds required the city to enact reforms and gave city officials until October 12 to come up with a plan about what those reforms would be.
However, on Friday morning the DOJ and the city said they agreed to extend that deadline.
Once a negotiated agreement is reached, it will be presented to the city council, according to Gerri Badden with the Department of Justice. The plan approved by the city council will then be filed in federal court and will be legally binding.
The city has already laid out a series of preliminary steps for the police bureau to take:
- Establishing policies that give officers clear guidance when dealing with people who have a mental illness or who are perceived to have a mental illness. Specifically, the city will lay out techniques for officers to de-escalate encounters stemming from non-criminal welfare checks or for low-level offenses.
- Having more specially-trained officers and civilians to deal with crisis situations
- Having a system to identify gaps in policy, training and supervision
- Expediting investigations about possible misconduct while still doing a thorough job
- Creating a body to ensure community oversight of reforms