Portland Police officers will now be required to hand out a business card, and introduce themselves by name when interacting with the public.
The new policy, bred out of a discussion with city commissioners during the presentation of Chief Rosie Sizer's Plan to Address Racial Profiling several weeks ago, aims to reduce tensions during police initiated stops or "conversations."
The new policy does not direct officers to hand out cards if it is to "impair safety or compromise an investigation" or if a request is an "attempt to harass, delay or manipulate" an officer. These two caveats were sticking points for Sizer when City Commissioner Randy Leonard pressed her for a policy that allowed the public to better know the identity of officers. Sizer had been concerned that safety would be compromised if officers were forced to give out cards. The past policy directed officers to hand out cards only if they were asked.
The card policy is only one of several changes that aims to reduce the problem of racial profiling, defined relying on race as a contributing factor for a police stop. Sizer is also debating whether to direct officers to issue citations or warnings for every traffic or pedestrian stop in order to reduce the number of frivolous stops. Other policy changes include better training and more community involvement.
Critics say the plan doesn't go far enough. They say there needs to be a way to hold individual officers accountable, among others.