Council to consider agreement on Thursday

Complying with the proposed settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Portland Police Bureau could cost the city over $5.8 million in the first year alone.

That figure is included in the financial analysis of the agreement that will be considered by the City Council on Thursday. It accompanies a resolution submitted by Mayor Sam Adams to accept the agreement.

According to the analysis, the additional money includes more than $3.2 million in new spending by the police, over $842,000 by other city bureaus, and over $1.7 million in contract costs.

The analysis does not say how the city will find or raise the money. It could be required in the budget that takes effect on July 1, 2012.

The agreement is proposed to avoid a federal lawsuit over the bureau’s use of force against people with mental illnesses. The 74-page document filed in U.S. District Court lays out guidelines and requirements for the city to set up a crisis intervention team to deal with situations that include mentally ill people.

According to the analysis, the money would be spent hiring additional employees with in the bureau and other city agencies to comply with the terms of the agreement. They include additional managers, trainers, community liaisons and advisors. The contracts involve community mental health programs.

As outlined in the agreement, the new team could involve 60 to 80 officers who volunteer for the duty, according to the federal agreement. It also focuses on training and accountability, setting up a Community Oversight Advisory Board to oversee the federal settlement agreement. The 20-member board will include 15 voting members and five advisory members. It will be led by a compliance officer and community liaison, who will be hired within 90 days.

And the bureau will set up an Addictions and Behavioral Health Unit within 60 days after the agreement is final. The bureau also will expand the Mobile Crisis Prevention Team to one car per precinct from one car citywide. One sworn officer and a civilian mental health professional will staff the car.

Mayor Sam Adams and former Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman requested DOJ review the bureau’s handling of incidents involving the mentally ill after the police shooting death of Aaron Campbell, an emotionally upset African-American. The investigation found a pattern of unnecessary and excessive force by police in such incidents.

In an Oct. 26 memo to the council, Adams says the city does not agree with that legal finding. Nevertheless, Adams says the city is committed to improving the bureau.

“As a result, the City and DOJ have developed a proposed settlement agreement to resolve the areas of concern. Resolution of these issues will require all of our community — our citizens, our police force, our City leadership, and our mental health partners — to work together and engage in meaningful dialogue and decision-making. Some issues will require the expenditure of funds and others will require labor negotiations with our employee labor organizations,” the memo says.

The resolution and financial analysis can be found at

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