Truly effective public safety programs require the moral authority and legitimacy of police officers and police departments, as this is essential to building and maintaining the cooperation and trust of the community. If police departments are required to be transparent with information about officers, this will help build community trust. It will also allow the community to work together with elected and non-elected leaders and police departments to create effective systems of supervision, accountability, and training, as well as cultures of integrity, for all police officers.
We strongly support HB 2169 with the -1 Amendment.
The public’s access to the information in police officers’ personnel files — especially information about investigations dealing with interactions between police and members of the public — is critical to Oregonian’s efforts to effectively address the unjust pandemic of police misconduct and violence.
Public access to this information will allow Oregonians to apply a data-driven approach. It will allow researchers and investigators to identify the systemic failures and other areas of weakness that need to be addressed within a police department. It will also help identify areas of strength and efficacy that should be supported.
Public access to this information will also provide the public with the information needed to request and advocate for effective and substantive redress and solutions by the public officials and public bodies in charge of police departments.