A bill authorized the House on Thursday that would require Oregon law enforcement agencies to report police disciplinary actions to the state and establish a statewide database of all measures taken against public security employees which lead to economic sanctions.
Bill 3145 comes at the behest of two civil rights groups: the Oregon Justice Resource Center and the New York-based Innocence Project.
The bill aims to improve access and communication between agencies on information regarding complaints, allegations, charges, disciplinary proceedings, certain judicial findings and prosecution decisions, as well as suspensions, revocations of certification. or some resignations and layoffs.
The bill also amends the offense of falsifying public records and creates the offense of “reckless falsification” of public records. This offense would be punishable by imprisonment for less than one year and a possible fine of $ 6,250.
According to Representative Janelle Bynum, D-Happy Valley, disciplinary action reports to the State Department for Public Safety Standards and Training must include the name and rank of the sanctioned officer, her unit, the agency who employs him, description of the facts of the case, underlying discipline imposed and a copy of the final decision notice. The DPSST will be required to publish this information in its database within 10 days of receipt.
Bynum said the DPSST would likely add the new discipline datasets involving economic sanctions to its already existing Information Case Investigation System (IRIS), where anyone can search for employment, certifications and the training record of a police officer.
Bynum also noted that negotiations to pass this bill reduced the types of disciplinary actions that would be included, addressing only those involving economic sanctions – that is, suspension without pay or wages. moored – because these are cases in which someone’s behavior must have been significantly poor.
She said she was surprised to see the bill passed unanimously, but pointed out that this was just a testament to the ability of her colleague and co-transporter, Rep. Ron Noble, R-McMinnville, to secure votes among his own caucus for causes where he is an expert. Noble was a member of the Corvallis Police Department for 18 years before becoming Chief of the McMinnville Police Department from 2006 to 2014.
“This provides an additional layer of transparency in a profession that is vitally important to our safety and security,” Noble said. “This provides another level of accountability for police and law enforcement agencies to ensure that only men and women adhere to the highest standards. “
A recent high-profile example of an incident the bill could potentially overturn involved former Tigard police officer Gabriel Maldonado. He was hired by the Port of Portland in April – and then fired – because he was hired while an investigation was underway into his actions in the fatal shooting of Jacob Macduff on January 6.
The port said it regrets that the investigation into Maldonado’s actions was not disclosed during the hiring process. Port officials said they were unaware the Washington County District Attorney was still investigating the case and had not made a final decision on whether to lay charges.
The bill is now sent to the Senate for consideration.