PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer defended her record and that of the Portland Police Bureau in response to criticism surrounding the shooting of Aaron Campbell, pointing to a steady decline in shootings and use of force situations during her tenure as chief. Bureau under scrutiny
She said the police officer who shot Campbell was not a rogue cop as he had been referred to.
Officer Ron Frashour, who was cleared of wrongdoing in Campbell's shooting, has a prior record of negligence in following use-of-force procedures required by Portland Police. Chief Sizer herself conducted a review that found him out-of-policy for failing to issue appropriate warnings before tasing a Portland man in 2006. 9-1-1 calls
Sizer's testimony to that disciplinary action prompted the city to settle a lawsuit with the victim for more than $50,000. Raw:Sizer on defense
Officers are subject to discipline. We collect data on our people and we make sure they are in line, she said, adding that Frashour would return to work on Wednesday, Feb. 18, though he would not be responding to calls.
Sizer acknowledged that the police bureau was the de facto system of last resort for those suffering from mental health crises in Portland and that the force would do better and implement any policy changes that an independent board reviewing the Campbell shooting suggested. Saltzman:Police will change
We don't have a choice in whether we can respond or not, Sizer said of mental health-related calls like suicides. But (police) are not mental health professionals or experts. Our goal is to de-escalate situations. Unfortunately that's not always possible.
Mayor Adams defended the police chief, who has come under fire for failing to communicate effectively on behalf of the force, according to the officers union president, Sgt. Scott Westerman.
Video:Adams backs Chief
For his part, Adams said the city would do what it could to make sure money was routed to the bureau to invest in communications equipment. A grand jury statement in the Campbell shooting concluded that police miscommunications resulted in his needless death.
Adams also pointed to the startling economic divide between black Portlanders and whites.On average, blacks in Portland make one-third the income of whites, the mayor said, adding that it was importantfor such a proud progressive community to also focus on equality. More:Adams challenges 'progressives'
Funding for mental health treatment has dried up during the recession, Adams said, and without funding, those who lack resources may not even know help is out there, however diminished it may be.
Sizer pointed out this disparity and the difficulty police faced. At any given moment police must consider public safety, personal welfare, and the mental well-being of those involved, she said, and all of those judgment calls are influenced by the police officer's moral compass.
She noted that the Rev. Jesse Jackson was in town and hoped he could help the family heal. But she pointed out that Jackson was not a use-of-force expert so far as she knew.
Jackson criticized Portland Police and the bureau's handling of racial issues at public protest Tuesday night.