FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Daryl Turner
PORTLAND, ORE – February 22nd, 2013 —
Moving Forward on the Motion to Intervene
On February 19, 2013, United States District Court Judge Michael Simon granted the PPA’s Motion to Intervene in the lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice against the City of Portland, which alleges that Portland Police Officers have engaged in a pattern or practice of violating the constitutional rights of individuals with actual or perceived mental illnesses. The Judge specifically ruled that the PPA is to become a party to any remedy that the USDOJ and City of Portland may seek to implement that would address the United States’ constitutional claims.
This victory is important to our members because we believe that the Proposed Settlement Agreement between the USDOJ and City contains provisions that would seriously undermine our members’ collective bargaining rights. Those rights include officer safety, discipline standards, workload issues, and compensation. For example, the PPA believes that any changes to the PPB’s Use of Force and Taser policies implicate significant officer safety and discipline issues.
Yesterday, Chief Reese circulated “final drafts” of the PPB’s new Use of Force and Taser polices as part of the PPB’s implementation of USDOJ reforms. Please be clear that the PPA has not been a party to nor have we agreed to these “final drafts” that the PPB has issued! The PPA’s input regarding these policies has been continuously ignored by the PPB, and Chief Reese’s assertion that the policies are a collaborative effort is incorrect. The PPA has sought and will continue to seek changes to the PPB’s versions of the policies, which are fundamentally flawed and will place officers at a safety risk and at risk for baseless discipline.
Although this dispute has been legally complex, the underlying motivation of the PPA has always remained clear. The PPA will fight to ensure that its members’ collective bargaining rights are upheld. We will keep you informed as this matter unfolds.