Police reform deal struck


Portland police, the city, and federal prosecutors say they've reached an agreement on police reforms — changes that were called for by the U.S. Department of Justice after its investigation into Portland's police practices.

In a news conference Wednesday, the city and police union announced their tentative agreement to make changes to Portland's police accountability system. Mayor Charlie Hales made the announcement at Portland City Hall, joined by the U.S. attorney, Portland police officials, and members of the Albina Ministerial Alliance.

The police union initially contested some of the reforms, but the new agreement means a lawsuit filed against the city by the Department of Justice will soon be settled.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Portland Police Bureau is one of the best investigative agencies in the nation," said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. "And [it] is now setting the bar for the rest of the nation about how we can address the very complicated issues that are facing the community every day."

The agreement still has to be approved by the city council and members of the Portland Police Association. But Mayor Hales believes an agreement there is promising.

"This is what's supposed to happen," Hales said Wednesday. "Public servants are supposed to bring people together from diverse viewpoints, find common ground on difficult issues and make progress."