Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Police use of force drops 35%

Report documents decline from 2008 to 2011


The use of force by Portland police has declined 35 percent from 2008 to 2011, according to a report released Wednesday.

"I am proud of our officers and the work done by the entire organization to implement the many changes we have made over the last few years," Chief Michael Reese said in a prepared statement. "The community has expressed concern over police use of force and we are hoping to highlight the enhancements the Police Bureau has made and show the use of force numbers have declined. We also want community members to know we review every use of force report and will continue to monitor the numbers."

The Portland Police Bureau report showed that incidents involving the use of force by officers dropped from 1,039 in 2008 to 675 in 2011.

The report credited the decline to numerous reform measures adopted by the bureau in recent years that are specifically designed to reduce officer reliance on force. Among other things, the bureau has changed its approach to police use of force by emphasizing de-escalation skills, improved tactical decision-making by officers, strengthening policies, improving training and increasing management and civilian oversight processes. This intentional and strategic effort has caused officer use of force to decline, the report says.