PORTLAND -- Portland police are moving forward on changes recommended after a U.S. Dept. of Justice probe found "a pattern or practice of excessive use of force" within the bureau, specifically when dealing with the mentally ill.
Chief Michael Reese said Tuesday that many of the reforms listed in a settlement agreement between the DOJ and the PPB were already under way. He also released a list of actionable items to track the bureau's progress, noting that the list still has to be approved by Portland City Council and the DOJ.
One such change already in place is the creation of a Behavioral Health Unit, which responds when police calls involve people with mental illness or in mental crisis.
"We have made significant progress on more than 50 percent of the reforms over the last several months," Reese said Tuesday. "We are pleased with our progress and want to let the community know where we are at in terms of some of these changes."
He added that transparency and community involvement made up a large part of the DOJ settlement, and the PPB plans to provide more information, updates, calendars and reports on its website.