January 24, 2012
To Mayor/Police Commissioner Sam Adams,Chief Mike Reese and members of Portland City Council:
In late April 2011, the Council adopted a Resolution outlining its understanding of how the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) will, in limited circumstances, cooperate with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Part of that resolution declared that the Chief will present an annual report to Council every year in January. We understand that the Mayor has proposed a resolution giving the Chief until the end of February to present the report. We, the undersigned, request that the report be released in draft form at least two weeks prior to any formal presentation to City Council to allow public input. We continue to urge the City to fulfill the promise of that part of the resolution, to ensure transparency and to assure the people of Portland that our officers are in compliance with state and federal laws regarding gathering information for legitimate criminal investigations. In addition to the five points outlined by the ACLU of Oregon in their testimony to Council (and repeated in a June 24 letter to Council), we request an update on the security clearance status of the Mayor, Chief, and any officers or supervisors in the Bureau who are working with the JTTF.
Here are the points made by the ACLU:
1. Non-confidential details regarding the steps taken to ensure PPB personnel comply with Oregon
laws, and any requests PPB personnel made to the City Attorney, including the number of consultations,
the types of issues raised, and the action taken as a result of such consultations.
2. The number of investigations, the types of investigations and at what stage PPB officers were asked
to work with the FBI JTTF.
3. The annual number of hours and officers participating.
4. The number of briefings made by the FBI to the Chief of Police and the Commissioner-in-Charge.
5. How often terror alert information was shared with City officials.
In addition, the ACLU requested:
In determining how well the resolution worked, the City should interview all PPB personnel working
with the FBI JTTF to better understand any issues or problems that arose, especially around compliance
with Oregon laws.
It is still of great concern to our organizations that the City’s resolution uses vague, legally meaningless status to allow Portland Officers to work with the JTTF (the “criminal nexus” standard). Council heard from dozens of organizations and individuals, including their own Human Rights Commission, about the concerns of the PPB working with the FBI, yet passed a resolutionwhich re-awakened a relationshipwe understood to be more or less terminated in 2005. In addition, it is not clear that there is any meaningful civilian oversight and accountability for Officers working with the JTTF. If the Bureau is re-engaging with the Task Force, the least the City needs to do is fulfill its promise of an annual report to the public.
Dan Handelman, Portland Copwatch
David Fidanque, Executive Director, ACLU of Oregon
Martin Gonzalez, Portland School Board member
Mary McWilliams, president, League ofWomen Voters of Portland
Portland National Lawyers Guild
Arab Muslim Police Advisory Council (AMPAC)