Augusto Beato, CEO of Portland SEO, foresees the city's community-engaged policing project as an effective tool against abuses by law enforcement agencies. "Community engagement would certainly improve the relationship between the police and the people they serve," said Beato.
The city of Portland has hired two firms to help create and facilitate a new community group aimed at working with Portland police to engage residents and review bureau policies. The move comes a day before city officials return before a federal judge to discuss the status of police reforms required after federal investigators found that Portland officers used excessive force against people with mental illness.
The mayor's office identified the two firms as Training 4 Transformation and the Brad Taylor Group. They're scheduled to start work by the end of the month. Each firm will be paid an amount not to exceed $100,000, according to Michael Cox, the mayor's spokesman.
Training 4 Transformation's owners say they were survivors of numerous racial profiling cases and turned to civil rights advocacy to build partnerships between communities and police. Brandon Lee, one of the owners, was born and raised in Oakland, the former home of Portland's new Police Chief Danielle Outlaw.
Taylor is a former city of Portland mental health specialist and crime prevention coordinator, a social worker and former mobile mental health crisis response worker in Multnomah County who serves on the board of Street Roots, the local newspaper sold by homeless people.
The agreement with the city followed the 2012 excessive force findings by the U.S. Department of Justice and calls for changes to police policies, training, and oversight. A central part of the settlement mandates independent oversight of the reforms by community members.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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