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Police and city leaders testified about reforms during a Sunday night community meeting.

PMG FILE PHOTO - A police body camera.Law enforcement officials and Portland city leaders took questions from the community Sunday night, Jan. 23, about adding body cameras to police uniforms.

The City Council is set to vote this month on a tentative agreement between the Portland Police Bureau and the U.S. Department of Justice linked to excessive force investigations dating back to 2014.

This latest agreement would mean both high-ranking and street-level officers could be investigated for improper use of force in the 2020 riots.

"We identified very basic errors for applying the standard for using force and repeated violations and repeated failures to hold officers accountable for violating PPB policy," said Jared Hager, an assistant U.S. Attorney with the justice department.

Body cameras will be just one piece of the puzzle to put Portland back in compliance with the feds. On Sunday, police union representatives expressed support for the plan.

"Body cameras raise public trust and also provide the public an opportunity to see what's truly going on in the street, especially from the perspective of the police officers but also what the police officers are facing," Portland Police Association President Aaron Schmautz said.

Research focused on programs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and New York City show cameras can reduce citizen complaints and adds a civilizing effect on officers.

Despite skepticism about how the footage and investigations will be handled, a majority of the council has signaled they will vote to move the program forward.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.


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