SB 519 & HB 2545

Polygraphs

April 21, 20017 UPDATE

A perennial measure to allow the use of polygraphs for screening law enforcement officers, SB 519, was stuck in committee upon Tuesday’s deadline. However, another measure in the House of Representatives, HB 2545, created a designation of “deception detection” devices separate from polygraphs and would likely have created a loophole that allowed such devices to be used in lieu of polygraphs. ORCOPS spoke with sponsor Rep. Jodi Hack (R – Salem) who agreed to an amendment with Rep. Jeff Barker (D – Aloha) to close that loophole, which was not really the intent of the measure. Additionally, Eugene Police Chief Kearns, who has been pushing the polygraph measure, has announced his retirement, so hopefully this is one perennial issue that will be put to rest.

March 18, 2017

For the third year in a row, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the ability of law enforcement agencies to utilize polygraphs for pre-employment screening. ORCOPS has opposed these bills year after year, and this session is no exception. This past week, ORCOPS’ testimony and face-to-face meetings with Senators helped to prevent SB 519 moving forward. But, because this is a priority of the committee’s chairman, continued success requires constant vigilance on our part.

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ORCOPS Legislative Update: Battling PERS Rollbacks And More

This past week in Salem saw ORCOPS step up to defend law enforcement officers as well as public employee pensions.

This session, several measures have been introduced that threaten to roll back existing PERS commitments already made to Oregon’s public employees. The Senate Workforce Committee held hearings on two of those bills this past week, with ORCOPS as the only law enforcement organization testifying in opposition.

In addition, for the third year in a row, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the ability of law enforcement agencies to utilize polygraphs for pre-employment screening. ORCOPS has opposed these bills year after year, and this session is no exception. This past week, ORCOPS’ testimony and face-to-face meetings with Senators helped to prevent SB 519 moving forward. But, because this is a priority of the committee’s chairman, continued success requires constant vigilance on our part.

Also this week, ORCOPS was the only law enforcement organization to support HB 2337, which increases minimum and maximum workers’ compensation benefits for permanent total disability. The measure passed the House floor and is now headed to the Senate.

ORCOPS has worked with legislators in both chambers to introduce legislation to improve working conditions for Oregon’s law enforcement officers. SB 642 would prevent law enforcement agencies from evaluating performance or disciplining officers based on a peer-to-peer comparison of citations issued. Although the Chiefs and Sheriffs are opposing the measure, ORCOPS has support from House Judiciary Chairman Jeff Barker (D – Beaverton) and Senator Lew Frederick (D – Portland). Although ORCOPS is opposing other bills sponsored by Senator Frederick, this is an opportunity to develop some common ground and establish a constructive dialogue. ORCOPS has also introduced HB 3365, which would prevent an officer from being disciplined solely due to their appearance on a DA’s Brady List. ORCOPS-endorsed Rep. Carla Piluso (D – Gresham) has sponsored this measure, and discussions are ongoing with other stakeholders as we chart a path forward.

Have a great weekend & stay safe.

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SB 642

March 25, 2017

SB 642, a measure pushed by ORCOPS that would prevent local agencies from using peer-to-peer comparisons of citation issuance to evaluate performance, is still under consideration. However, the Chiefs and Sheriffs associations have been given some time to consider what adjustments they would like to see in the measure. Those associations have suggested a simple ban on quotas, but ORCOPS contends that would be functionally meaningless without also banning peer-to-peer comparisons. ORCOPS is the only law enforcement group that has been pushing this measure.

March 17, 2017

ORCOPS has worked with legislators in both chambers to introduce legislation to improve working conditions for Oregon’s law enforcement officers. SB 642 would prevent law enforcement agencies from evaluating performance or disciplining officers based on a peer-to-peer comparison of citations issued. Although the Chiefs and Sheriffs are opposing the measure, ORCOPS has support from House Judiciary Chairman Jeff Barker (D – Beaverton) and Senator Lew Frederick (D – Portland). Although ORCOPS is opposing other bills sponsored by Senator Frederick, this is an opportunity to develop some common ground and establish a constructive dialogue.

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HB 2355

Profiling Data

March 31, 2017 UPDATE

The second (and at this point, last) step in the “End Profiling” effort, HB 2355, was passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on an 8-2 vote. As a part of that workgroup, ORCOPS approved the resulting legislation, which focuses on training and data collection. The Legislature’s task force on profiling issues that was established in 2015 is scheduled to dissolve this year.

March 15, 2017

HB 2355 is the result of a long process that started with HB 2002 in the 2015 session. Since the very beginning of that process, ORCOPS has been intricately involved in ensuring that Oregon’s anti-profiling measures don’t impede law enforcement officers’ ability to do their jobs. ORCOPS maintains constructive, respectful connections with both sides of the aisle and bargained those relationships into a key position on the policymaking Law Enforcement Profiling Work Group.  ORCOPS’s selected member has been the only member of the work group representing line officers and deputies. HB 2355 is the culmination of that group. The measure focuses policy developments on training resources and data collection, and is the result of a consensus-based process led by the Attorney General’s office.  ORCOPS not only played a role in guiding that policy, but also maintained a close relationship with the interested legislators and the Attorney General herself before providing a nod of approval for the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month.

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SB 496 and SB 505

Grand Jury Recordings

April 21, 2017 UPDATE

One measure of concern that did make it out the Senate Judiciary Committee is SB 496, which has the primary goal of recording grand jury proceedings. However, there is a small section in the measure that would cause the records to become publicly-requestable when a law enforcement officer is the target of the grand jury. ORCOPS has been fighting against this provision for several years, and the measure now moves to the Ways & Means Committee, where ORCOPS will continue to oppose it. Senator Kim Thatcher (R – Keizer) voted with ORCOPS on the measure in the Judiciary Committee.

March 15, 2017

These bills would require recording of all grand jury proceedings. While the defense attorneys and district attorneys are negotiating methods of protecting sensitive witnesses (some law enforcement protections such as those for confidential informants are already included in the measure), ORCOPS was the first organization to bring to the committee’s attention a provision that would have permitted the public release of proceedings dealing with the conduct of a law enforcement officer. For example, if an officer’s use of deadly force in the line of duty is considered by a grand jury, the recording of the proceeding would be subject to public release after the grand jury issues a not true bill. During office meetings as well as to the full committee, ORCOPS stood fast in opposing a carve-out targeting law enforcement officers. (Even as an other law enforcement organizations offered their qualified support to the public release of such materials.) ORCOPS has been defending against this and similar pieces of legislation since the 2015 Legislative Session. We have been working directly with committee members to secure a set of amendments to the measure that will protect officers’ records from public release.

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ORCOPS in the mix as the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session Ramps Up

Before the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session opened on February 1, 2017, ORCOPS was hard at work addressing key issues that affect law enforcement officers in Oregon, such as profiling legislation, attacks on PERS benefits, discussions about grand juries, and “best practices” for body worn cameras. As this long 2017 session has ramped up in the past few weeks, our preparation has paid off, with ORCOPS being the “go-to” resource when legislators inquire about how certain public policy changes may affect the working conditions for Oregon’s law enforcement officers.

Last week was a great example of our diligence paying off. Our lobbyists from Prospect PDX were active during hearings on:

SB 496 and SB 505: Grand Jury Recordings
These bills would require recording of all grand jury proceedings. While the defense attorneys and district attorneys are negotiating methods of protecting sensitive witnesses (some law enforcement protections such as those for confidential informants are already included in the measure), ORCOPS was the first organization to bring to the committee’s attention a provision that would have permitted the public release of proceedings dealing with the conduct of a law enforcement officer. For example, if an officer’s use of deadly force in the line of duty is considered by a grand jury, the recording of the proceeding would be subject to public release after the grand jury issues a not true bill. During office meetings as well as to the full committee, ORCOPS stood fast in opposing a carve-out targeting law enforcement officers. (Even as an other law enforcement organizations offered their qualified support to the public release of such materials.) ORCOPS has been defending against this and similar pieces of legislation since the 2015 Legislative Session. We have been working directly with committee members to secure a set of amendments to the measure that will protect officers’ records from public release.

HB 2355: Profiling Data
This bill is the result of a long process that started with HB 2002 in the 2015 session. Since the very beginning of that process, ORCOPS has been intricately involved in ensuring that Oregon’s anti-profiling measures don’t impede law enforcement officers’ ability to do their jobs. ORCOPS maintains constructive, respectful connections with both sides of the aisle and bargained those relationships into a key position on the policymaking Law Enforcement Profiling Work Group. ORCOPS’s selected member has been the only member of the work group representing line officers and deputies. HB 2355 is the culmination of that group. The measure focuses policy developments on training resources and data collection, and is the result of a consensus-based process led by the Attorney General’s office. ORCOPS not only played a role in guiding that policy, but also maintained a close relationship with the interested legislators and the Attorney General herself before providing a nod of approval for the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month.

Protecting Municipal Budgets
Senate Bill 840 would have placed a cap on certain fees that cities receive from utilities, thereby having a detrimental impact on city budgets. While several utilities spoke in favor of the measure, ORCOPS—alongside a number of city government representatives—was the only law enforcement organization to testify against it.

We are also actively monitoring PERS discussions, including Senate Bills 559, 560, and 913. As the largest law enforcement representative on the PERS Coalition, we are advocating tirelessly to ensure our legislators honor the pension promises made to our members. The most popular of these so-called “reform” items include capping final average salary at $100,000; changing the final average salary calculation from a high three-year to a high-five year period; and redirecting employee contributions to IAP accounts to the general pension plan. From the standpoint of our members, all three are “non-starters,” especially given the sweeping, detrimental effect to existing PERS members and future law enforcement officers. The PERS discussions will ramp up over the next two weeks, and we’ll update you as these so-called “PERS reform” bills make their way through committees. Learn more about the real effects of these proposed changes to PERS at keeporegonspromise.org.

Finally, we are actively tracking over 90 Senate and House bills, including proposed legislation on officer involved use of deadly force, issues related to workers compensation benefits, crimes against law enforcement officers, and retirement benefits for officers working at one of Oregon’s universities.

As always, we welcome any feedback from our member organizations about any legislation that may impact law enforcement officers in this State.

Stay safe.

Daryl Turner, President
Oregon Coalition of Police and Sheriffs

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Support of HB 4087

ORCOPS Members:

We’re almost to the end of the 2016 Legislative Session, but a key piece of legislation has stalled in the Senate – the bill to allow a judge to shield an officer’s name from public release for 90 days if there is a credible threat against the officer or their family.

Click to View >>>  HB 4087

Our lobbyist in Salem is on top of the issue, but Legislators need to hear from you, too!

Please take a few moments and write a quick e-mail expressing your personal SUPPORT of HB 4087, so that the Legislature knows that there are scores of real officers standing behind our organization.

We want to email (or call) the Senate President and the legislators on the Senate Rules Committee:

Senator Peter Courtney, Senate President: sen.petercourtney@state.or.us / 503-986-1600
Senator Ginny Burdick, Chair: sen.ginnyburdick@state.or.us / 503-986-1718
Senator Ted Ferrioli: sen.tedferrioli@state.or.us
Senator Lee Beyer: sen.leebeyer@state.or.us
Senator Brian Boquist: sen.brianboquist@state.or.us
Senator Diane Rosenbaum: Sen.DianeRosenbaum@state.or.us

Your e-mail can be written personally, or you can draw from our previous testimony on the bill. Here’s an example:

Dear Legislators,

As a law enforcement officer, I am writing to let you know of my strong support of HB 4087, which allows a judge to shield an officer’s name from public release for 90 days if there is a credible threat against the officer or their family.

As a law enforcement officer, I put my life on the line every day. But doing my job shouldn’t put my family at risk, too. The protections in HB 4087 would occur only in the event that a judge found a credible threat to exist – on par with many other public records protections currently in statute.

The House of Representatives passed this bill on a resounding 55-3 vote. I hope that you will join them in helping to protect law enforcement officers — and their families – from harm.

Thank you,

(Your name, City of residence)

Be aware that any e-mail will become a public record, and please do not take time to email while on the clock! Remember to always be respectful, and to not resort to name-calling or accusations. For example, It’s OK to say that you feel endangered, but not OK to suggest that a legislator is trying to endanger you.

Thanks! Get those e-mails and phone calls in!

Daryl Turner
President,
Oregon Coalition of Police and Sheriffs

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