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Eugene Police Policy Ad Hoc Committee Extended to Meet Through March

Elizabeth Gabriel

Eugene City Councilors listened to a presentation about the progress the Police Policy Ad Hoc Committee has made so far during their Nov. 9 work session. At the end of the meeting, the city council approved the extension of the committee and to pay members while working on ad hoc subcommittees.

In response to Black Lives Matter protests that took place throughout the summer, the committee was created and tasked with looking into policing topics identified in Campaign Zero and 21st Century Policing. 

Police Policy Ad Hoc Committee Lead Staff Kevin Alltucker provided an update on what the committee has discussed so far, which includes presentations from the Citizens Review Board, the Police Auditor’s Office, and the Eugene Police Department.

Since the group began meeting in late-September, the committee has prioritized 11 topics they would like to address. The committee will focus on the first four topics through the end of January:

1.      Limit Use of Force

2.      Hiring and Training

3.      Community Oversight

4.      Body Worn Cameras/Film the Police

5.      Independent Investigation and Prosecution

6.      End Broken-Windows Policing

7.      Community Representation

8.      Community Policing

9.      Demilitarize the Police

10.   End For-Profit Policing

11.   Fair Union Contracts

However, this does not include the seven other police policy topics the committee would like to review. Many ad hoc committee members and city councilors voiced concerns about the group’s ability to address all topics within the limited timeframe.

During the work session, city councilors approved the extension of the ad hoc committee through the end of March instead of from January 31. This allows the group to work on addressing the seven other identified topics. The committee’s budget was also expanded from $8,040 to $15,810 in order to pay committee members. Councilors also approved the city to use money from the City Manager’s Office General Fund to compensate committee members once the budget exceeds $12,000.

Before the proposed extension was approved, some councilors voiced concerns that there is still not enough time for the committee to review all 11 policies and provide recommendations to the city council. Alltucker said some ad hoc members have suggested the group work through April.

As of now, the Police Policy Ad Hoc Committee will submit their report to the Eugene City Council in March 2021. Councilors will review the report and send recommendations to EPD. The Eugene City Council does not have the authority to implement police policy changes. Any changes would have to be approved by EPD Chief Chris Skinner.

Elizabeth Gabriel is a former KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She is an education reporter at WFYI in Indianapolis.
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