The Portland police department building in 2021. (Portland Phoenix/Elizabeth Clemente)
The Portland police department building in 2021. (Portland Phoenix/Elizabeth Clemente)
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Ahead of the formation of the new police review board, some members of the Police Citizens Review Subcommittee expressed concerns with the city’s restrictions on permitting former city employees to serve on the board.

According to city code, former city employees and councilors are prohibited from serving on the police review subcommittee for 10 years after they no longer work with the city. 

The rule does not apply to school employees or school board members. Former Portland school superintendent Xavier Botana, who was hired in 2016 and resigned in January, has served on the board since March.

Some members of the police oversight subcommittee made it clear they would like to see the city’s requirement reduced to a shorter time frame.

Rev. Kenneth Lewis called the 10-year rule “ridiculously high,” adding that he would be “fine” with a one-year prohibition. Another member, Anne Hardcastle, proposed a three-to five-year period.

Changes to the police oversight board were approved by voters last November. They were proposed by last summer’s Charter Commission, which reopened the city’s Charter.

The new board will have six voting members and three non-voting members, and need a quorum of four. If one of the six voting members is unable to attend, a nonvoting member would be elevated to a voting member. Existing members of the subcommittee may be appointed to the new board by the Council.

The next board will be assembled by the Council. The existing board is scheduled to reconvene in August.


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