Legislature Winding Down

With the legislature winding down in Salem, many bills are beginning to get resolved one way or another. Friday June 2 was the deadline for moving most bills out of their policy committees, so we saw a flurry of activity last week.

The “Deception Detection” bill, HB 2545, had a public hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill would have provided for deception tests other than polygraphs in Oregon’s regulatory scheme. ORCOPS worked with sponsors to ensure that the bill was amended in order to prevent the use of non-polygraph tests (such as pupil dilation analysis) to be used for pre-employment screening of law enforcement officers. Once in Senate Judiciary, chair Prozanski (D – Eugene) announced that he felt the bill was not ready to pass and that he would continue to work on it in the interim period.

House Bill 3242, which requires that custodial interviews with minors are recorded, was passed out of the same committee on Tuesday, over the objection of ORCOPS as well as the Chiefs and Sheriffs associations. However, the measure was at least amended per suggestions from ORCOPS to apply only to minors suspected of certain crimes, only to law enforcement departments of a certain size, and to allow for interviews to still be admitted into evidence if not recorded (but with a jury instruction that it was not recorded).

Senate Bills 505 and 496, which would require recordation of grand jury proceedings, are still in the Ways & Means Committee (and thereby not subject to session scheduling deadlines). ORCOPS is eagerly awaiting a hearing to be scheduled so as to oppose the measures (which still each have a stipulation that recordings of grand juries targeting law enforcement officers are made public record), although we would in fact prefer the measures not to be heard at all. The drop-dead deadline for all bills is July 10. A big issue around these measures is the added costs of creating a new class of public records and recording infrastructure. While a final Fiscal Impact Statement has not yet been issued, the rumor is now that the measures are looking at price tags of more than $10 million *each*, which would be untenable in this constrained budget environment. ORCOPS has been advocating funding for east count gang enforcement, which would be in front of the same subcommittee, and we would much rather those dollars get spent there.

The PERS Coalition has continued to meet and is discussing continued responses to PERS “reform” efforts. ORCOPS has been attending and scheduling meetings with various legislators in order to dampen efforts to cut into benefits. With the Governor’s recent assembly of a task force to work on pension costs, and some legislators’ insistence that PERS “reforms” be a part of this session’s endgame, this issue is as relevant as ever. However, the Governor has kept the task force’s mission relatively broad (decrease the unfunded liabilities by $5 billion) without specifying a particular course of action. This allows the Governor, and the Legislature, the flexibility to either target benefits or simply pursue passive reforms that would not affect benefits (such as restructuring the investment administration model). It will therefore be incredibly important for PERS Coalition members and ORCOPS (the only representation of local law enforcement officers in the coalition) to continuously persuade Legislators and the task force to focus on the latter.

Stay safe out there this this week!

Daryl Turner, President

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Fairview Police Officers Association on Consolidation with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office

FPOA + MCS

Open Letter from the Fairview Police Officers Association on Consolidation with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office
By Fairview Police Officers Association President Brad Robertson

On Thursday, June 8th at 6pm at Fairview City Hall there will be the third public forum on discussions regarding the consolidation of Fairview police services into the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.  I’d like to encourage all those with interest about this possible change in public safety services to attend.

The consolidation of the Fairview Police Department into the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is a change that the Fairview Police Officers Association (FPOA) UNANIMOUSLY supports.  It is imperative for our officer safety, and the safety of the public that the economy of scale of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is brought to the City of Fairview.  The FPOA applauds the vision and dedication to public safety of City of Fairview Mayor Tosterud and Multnomah County Sheriff Reese with the analysis of the consolidation process and its benefits for the public and officers.

Quite simply, the size of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and its resources expands the service levels for Fairview citizens and provides the sorely needed vast public safety services required in this day and age.  The size of the Sheriff’s Office optimizes public safety services by being able to provide so much more, and for close to the same cost that the City of Fairview is paying now, or quite likely at a lesser cost.

The Fairview police force consists of only 15 officers.  In a metropolitan, densely populated area this amount of personnel is not a staffing level that can support growing crime rates (specifically a 167% increase in violent crime since 2010), let alone the needs of the community it serves.  Crime spreads across municipal borders quite swiftly in East Multnomah County.  Ask Fairview Officers about the multiple officer involved shootings or the critical incidents to which they’ve responded in the past few years.  I guarantee you’ll hear a once in a lifetime story.  But, the FPOA officers live it all too often without the protections of a more robust support structure in a larger public safety agency.

A public safety contract with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office provides enhanced public safety with superior staffing levels, comprehensive supervision twenty-four hours a day, immensely improved investigative services, and various other supplemental law enforcement capacities- and again- all for close to the same cost, or less, as the City of Fairview is paying now for current public safety services.

The FPOA believes unanimously that consolidation is what’s right for public safety and for officer safety, especially considering the lack of financial impact, and more likely the financial gain to the City of Fairview.  As an Army veteran, I see it in these terms: the City of Fairview can spend the same amount for public safety, or likely less, and receive either a squad or a battalion sized element to protect the public around the clock.  When there’s a critical incident, I think everyone affected would feel safer with the battalion.  Safety in numbers, always.

The Fairview Police Officers Association looks forward to your support of consolidation with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and your attendance to the upcoming public form at Fairview City Hall on Thursday June 8th at 6pm.

Respectfully,

Brad Robertson
FPOA President

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Legislative “End Game” Negotiations in Full Swing

This week in Salem started off tense, as the final revenue forecast before the end of session was released on Tuesday. Although the budget deficit is projected to shrink, the Legislature still anticipates a $1.4 billion gap. This sets the scene for the final end-of-session negotiations. Democrats are hoping for additional tax revenue, generally through corporate tax increases. Most Republicans will begrudgingly say that revenue needs to be on the table, but are holding out for additional concessions. Key among those concessions is an effort to undertake additional PERS “reforms” that ORCOPS has been tracking. The good news is that the most draconian PERS bills have been halted…for now. The bad news is that there are still “live” bills that may be considered, such as SB 559 (lowering the final average salary calculation) and SB 560 (redirecting IAP contributions). Both measures are sponsored by Senator Tim Knopp (R – Bend), who sits on the Senate Workforce Committee. The labor-driven “PERS Coalition,” including ORCOPS, is meeting regularly to coordinate strategy in addressing these measures.

Now that the “end game” negotiations are in full swing, the latest plan, put forth by Senator Mark Hass (D – Beaverton) includes corporate tax increases on sales volume and offsets to mitigate that effect on consumers with tax breaks on personal income tax. Governor Kate Brown (D) has asked for a panel to be assembled to make recommendations on PERS legislation for the 2018 legislative session (presumably in lieu of passing anything PERS-related this session). She has already indicated an interest in exploring pension obligation borrowing (which was somewhat successful in past low-interest-rate environments), additional employee contributions, and in-sourcing of State Treasury investment functions.

As for law enforcement-specific policies, we will see several items coming up in the next few weeks before session ends. ORCOPS continues to lobby the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Public Safety to amend SB 496 to afford law enforcement officers in front of a grand jury the same rights and privileges as any other person. Currently, the measure provides additional public release provisions in the event that an officer is the target of a grand jury. Aside from being unfair, these provisions add unnecessary expenses to an already expensive piece of legislation (in a cash-strapped budget environment, mind you).

ORCOPS’ lobbyists have also reached out to the Oregon State Police to inquire about the rulemaking process around personal purchases of firearms. Currently, law enforcement officers are required to register with their home address, rather than use the address of their precinct (like when registering a personal vehicle). We are hopeful that we can change this without requiring legislation.

Stay safe out there this weekend and enjoy the sun!

Daryl Turner, President

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Legislative Session Update

The Capitol Building in Salem is aligning itself for the end-of-session deal making.

With many legislative deadlines behind us, legislators and lobbyists alike are now waiting eagerly for next week’s Revenue Forecast (to be issued Tuesday). As the final forecast before the end of session, this report will inform on what details have yet to be worked out at top levels of legislative leadership in order to negotiate an end to the session (an agreement on balancing revenue with the state’s budget is key to ending the session, which must end by July 10). This will also have effects on issues ORCOPS is following, such as our advocacy for east county gang enforcement funding (which is not its own bill but a line item in the larger public safety budget) and the financial cost of some measures which ORCOPS supports… and some we oppose.

This past week, ORCOPS had several meetings with legislators on the budget-writing Ways & Means Committee regarding the possible recording of Grand Jury proceedings. ORCOPS is opposing the legislation, in most part due to a provision that essentially makes the recording a public record when the target of a grand jury is a police officer. Luckily, this is an issue ORCOPS specifically discussed with candidates during the 2016 election cycle, so we have commitments from a number of legislators to oppose such a provision.

Although some other ORCOPS-supported measures, such as a PERS fix for OHSU officers, were not able to beat the initial session deadlines, ORCOPS is waiting for an opportunity to amend these concepts into broader pieces of legislation. It is not uncommon for the last weeks of the legislative session to see “omnibus” bills that contain a number of different elements as a result of last-minute deals.

Lastly, even though the bulk of the ill-intentioned PERS “reform” measures did not pass, we remain cautious because they, too, might be resurrected as amendments if we’re not vigilant. We should not count on the Supreme Court to protect our pension agreements, so we have been holding the line in the Capitol alongside other public sector employees.

Look for things to pick up after next week once the revenue forecast is set!

Stay safe out there.

Daryl Turner, President

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Legislative Deadline Week

This past week in Salem was deadline week, meaning that any measures that had not been moved by the relevant policy committee by midnight on Tuesday are now “dead” bills. And while a couple of ORCOPS-sponsored measures were caught in that trap, we had a lot more success in moving good measures along and killing bad bills.

ORCOPS’ measures to crack down on Brady list abuses and capricious citation evaluations were both left in committee. However, Senate Judiciary Chairman Floyd Prozanski (D – Eugene) has indicated a desire to work on both issues in the interim. Also left in the Judiciary Committee were several measures that ORCOPS fought against throughout session, including measures to functionally eliminate consent searches, requiring officers to undergo additional mental health sessions and drug tests after critical incidents, another measure requiring the Attorney General to investigate all use of force incidents, and others with similar themes.

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.

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.

Another interesting event happened on deadline day. SB 728 simply asks for a study from DPSST.  However, the measure’s “relating clause” was exceedingly broad: “Relating to law enforcement.” This means that with as little as one-hour notice, the measure could be amended with anything having to do with “law enforcement.” ORCOPS’ lobbyist saw that the measure was suddenly scheduled for a work session (which includes the ability to amend the measure) the morning of deadline day and immediately ran to sign up on the bill to have standing to testify. At that point, we didn’t know what might happen with the bill. As it turns out, Committee staff indicated that the measure was not meant to go anywhere and the measure was taken off the agenda. But ORCOPS was watching closely; ORCOPS and DPSST (who also noticed the measure and had a similar concern) were the only two entities to sign up for potential testimony.

Other measures that were blocked due in part to ORCOPS’ work include several promise-breaking PERS “reforms;” a measure that would have restricted officers from using “trickery” or “artifice” (their words!) in interviewing suspects; and a measure that would have prohibited minors from waiving their right to counsel. It should be noted that several measures (including a different PERS “reform” measure that would revamp how final average salary is calculated) were moved to their respective chambers’ Rules Committees “without recommendation.” This is generally a courtesy to a member who doesn’t have the votes to pass their measure, but the maneuver keeps the measure alive past the deadline date. However, the “without recommendation” designation is an indication that the measure is not likely to garner support. However, it is important to remember that in this legislative session, the Legislature is looking to strike deals on a revenue package and a transportation package, and as those negotiations occur, ORCOPS will be wary that absolutely any bill might be brought to the negotiation table. So, we will stay vigilant!

Stay safe out there,

Daryl Turner, President
Oregon Coalition of Police and Sheriffs

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

The Salem Machine at Work

This past week was hectic for everyone in Salem, as it was the last week to get bills scheduled to be voted on by committees in their original chamber (they must be voted on by committees by April 18).

ORCOPS started the week out by testifying with the Chiefs, Sheriffs, and other law enforcement organizations to support a measure facilitating medical screenings when an officer is exposed to another person’s bodily fluids. Senator Tim Knopp (R – Bend) expressed support for the concept, acknowledging that “peace of mind matters” to law enforcement officers in this situation.

We continue to work with the District Attorneys Association to prevent a damaging bill that would impede officers’ ability to interview minors (HB 3242), and our conversations with Rep Barker (D – Beaverton), whose committee heard the measure, have been fruitful. We’ll learn next week whether the measure is tabled or if there is enough lingering support to pass it in some form.

ORCOPS also had a fruitful meeting on PERS “reform” with Senator Steiner-Hayward (D – Portland/Beaverton), who seemed to indicate support of ORCOPS’ position on protecting and respecting the State’s pension promises. ORCOPS is the only member of the pension-defending PERS Coalition representing local law enforcement officers.

ORCOPS is pleased to report that Senate Bill 712 unanimously passed the Senate Workforce Committee this past week, with some amendments. The bill provides PERS time credit for officers who are injured on duty and receive workers’ compensation benefits, and fixes a serious inequity within Tier-3 PERS (OPSRP) where someone injured on the job and collecting workers comp currently doesn’t receive service credit for the period between the injury and their return to work.

Several other more “housekeeping” measures passed, such as HB 2987, which slightly modifies the crime of giving false information to an officer, and clarifies the language slightly. On these measures, ORCOPS tracks the legislation and works with committee members, but does not need to give testimony.

Lastly, HB 2674, which would fix an oversight in the extension of PERS to OHSU’s police officers, was not scheduled for a hearing, even after OHSU and ORCOPS came to an agreement on the policy. Although the measure was very narrow in scope and effect, the House leadership refused any and all measures that would expand PERS, even so slightly, under fear that it would impede other negotiations. ORCOPS will continue to pursue the measure as an amendment.

Stay safe out there.

Daryl Turner, President
Oregon Coalition of Police and Sheriffs

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Maintaining Our Voice in Salem

This past week in Salem saw more behind-the-scenes discussions than public hearings. A big part of ORCOPS’ job in Salem is to go beyond the hearings and maintain relationships and negotiations with other public safety stakeholders.

Most pieces of legislation this session have a deadline coming up soon: they must be scheduled for a “work session” (meaning a committee will move for a vote on the bill) by the end of next week. There are a few exceptions (like the State budget), but most of the measures ORCOPS is watching are subject to this deadline.

On the one hand, we will likely see a lot of bad and unfriendly bills, such as the bill requiring drug testing police officers, miss that deadline and become “dead” bills. On the other hand, several bills ORCOPS is advocating for are also subject to that deadline, particularly bills relating to Brady list protections and citation comparisons.

ORCOPS has been negotiating with other public safety stakeholders as well as Legislative leadership to both move ORCOPS’ agenda as well as block bad legislation. For example, there has been a renewed last-ditch effort by some Democrats to make officers’ grand jury transcripts a matter of public record across the State (this is already practiced in Multnomah County but only at the discretion of the District Attorney), and ORCOPS has been working to prevent that.

Another measure, HB 3242, would require officers to electronically record all conversations with minors suspected of committing a crime. ORCOPS testified last week to the real-world impracticality of that measure, but there is now an effort by the measure’s supporters to find a compromise that would limit the requirement to more specific circumstances. ORCOPS’ lobbyist received an anonymous menacing phone call regarding this measure, which means we’re being effective!

Public pension “reform” discussions are still underway.  As the only representatives of local line officers and deputies on the pension-defending PERS Coalition, ORCOPS has been coordinating meetings with other coalition members.  If any law enforcement officers are interested in coming down to Salem to meet with legislators on this issue, please email info@orcops.orgto coordinate that with our team in Salem.

Lastly, 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.

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

ORCOPS On The Front Lines In Salem

ORCOPS was active in Salem this past week, both pushing good policy forward and defending against bad policy.

The week started with a roundtable discussion organized by Senator Floyd Prozanski (D – Eugene), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to help determine the Judiciary agenda for the balance of the 2017 Legislative Session. ORCOPS represented line officers and deputies among a group that included Chiefs and Sheriffs, the Oregon Defense Attorneys Association, and the ACLU. While agreement among this group has been mixed on a wide array of issues, ORCOPS has built relationships based on mutual respect and candidness and works well with these stakeholders, even when strongly disagreeing.

SB 352, which would prohibit consent searches unless a person was specifically informed of their ability to refuse the search, will not be passing in the 2017 session thanks to the stalwart opposition of several law enforcement groups. We do expect the ACLU to develop an alternate proposal for future sessions, so it is important to remain vigilant.

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.

The House Judiciary Committee held hearings on three measures last week that would drastically affect interactions with minors.

  • HB 2718 would prohibit officers from interviewing a minor until the minor had consulted with an attorney. The measure would not allow that requirement to be waived, even by the minor’s parents or guardians.
  • HB 3242 would require all custodial interviews with minors be recorded electronically, but does not provide any funding for equipment, nor does it provide for unanticipated circumstances. ORCOPS-endorsed Rep. Andy Olson (R – Albany), a 29-year veteran with the Oregon State Police, did an excellent job outlining the challenges of this measure, especially in rural areas of the state.
  • HB 3244 would prohibit officers from utilizing “deceit, trickery, or artifice” when conducting interviews. An amendment to that bill would even further prohibit officers from implying or suggesting that cooperation could lead to leniency. The measure is poorly defined, to say the least — no one was able to provide a legal definition of “artifice”.

Opposing the bills was only a panel of ORCOPS (representing line officers and deputies), Sheriff Jason Myers of Marion County (representing both the Chiefs and Sheriffs associations), and Kurt Miller (a DPSST trainer representing the Oregon District Attorneys Association). The panel pointed out that as “best practices” are organically moving in these directions, it would be better to allow local law enforcement agencies to develop these practices on their own rather than impose hard-and-fast statewide mandates. Subsequent discussions with committee members have indicated that these measures are unlikely to move forward.

ORCOPS also made sure to publicly back SB 712, which provides PERS time credit for officers who are injured on duty and receive workers’ compensation benefits. This bill fixes a serious inequity within tier-3 PERS (OPSRP) where someone injured on the job and collecting workers comp currently doesn’t receive time credit for the period between the injury and their return to work. ORCOPS joined with the Oregon State Fire Fighters Council and the Oregon State Police Officers Association to testify in favor of this. State Trooper Nic Cederberg and Fire Fighter Council member Peter St. John provided some riveting testimony that we hope will lead to the quick passage of SB 712. This bill and Rep. Margaret Doherty’s (D – Tigard) HB 2646 are identical, but SB 712 seems to be the one that will go through, with HB 2646 held in reserve in case it becomes necessary.

Finally, as PERS discussions continue, you can use this tool to calculate the hit on your PERS retirement under the so-called PERS “reform” bills circulating through the Legislature.

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks on PERS “reforms” as well as resolution on profiling policies.

Stay safe out there.

Daryl Turner, President
Oregon Coalition of Police and Sheriffs

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

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.

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

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

Print this pageShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone