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Of The Skanner News
Published: 08 January 2015

People who live, work, or go to school in Portland are encouraged to apply for appointment to the Community Oversight Advisory Board for the US Department of Justice agreement on the Portland Police by Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. The previous deadline was Jan. 9.

City officials last month said that a past arrest history will not be a barrier for applicants.

 "The Community Oversight Advisory Board’s job is to assess the City and the Police Bureau’s implementation of the DOJ agreement," Commissioner Amanda Fritz says. “This is a crucial role, as the Council works with the community to improve the way Portland Police serve individuals experiencing, or perceived to be experiencing, mental health crises. The COAB must represent a broad spectrum of Portland’s communities and a broad range of perspectives."

The Portland Commission on Disability and the Human Rights Commission will appoint a COAB member from each Commission, and jointly select three additional COAB members who are Qualified Mental Health Professionals or persons with 10 years’ lived experience caring for their own or others’ mental illness. The remaining five COAB members will each be appointed by a City Commissioner.

 The City’s Settlement Agreement calls for reform to Portland Police Bureau policies and training, particularly related to interactions with people who have or are perceived to have mental illness.

The board will include fifteen voting community members and five advisory members from the Portland Police Bureau. The Compliance Officer Community Liaison, an independent monitor, will chair the COAB and preside over COAB meetings.

 The board will meet regularly to “assess the implementation of the Settlement Agreement, and will make recommendations regarding changes to policy and/or practices as required to implement the Settlement Agreement,” according to the city.

Further, “The COAB will also advise the Chief of Police, Police Commissioner and the City Council on community relations and police accountability, inform the community about the Settlement Agreement and its implementation, and seek public comments and concerns, including at Town Hall meetings and through surveys.”

 The application is available to download from Commissioner Fritz’s website. Paper copies are available in neighborhood coalition offices. Interested persons can also apply online: http://bit.ly/COABapplication. Applications are due Jan. 9.

 You can find more information on the COAB in the Settlement Agreement by clicking here.

 You can find more general information on the Settlement Agreement by clicking here.


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