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  • 2 Jun 2015

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Fish nominates Gordly to police oversight board

Commissioner Nick Fish has nominated former State Senator Avel Gordly to serve on a new committee that will help implement a federal agreement to end historic discrimination by the Portland Police Bureau.

Fish has nominated Gordly to serve on the the Community Oversight Advisory Board (COAB), a 20-member committee that will review and assist with implementing the settlement agreement between the City of Portland and the U.S. Department of Justice. The agreement calls for changes to the bureau to eliminate a pattern of excess force against the mentally ill. It includes many recommendations that need to be enacted, from changes in policies and training to the funding of an emergency center for those in crisis.

"For over 40 years, Senator Gordly has been a champion for social justice in our community. She had devoted much of her professional life to protecting the rights of people who have or are perceived to have a mental illness," says Fish. "Based on her extensive record of public service, and her deep ties in our community, I believe Avel Gordly will be an outstanding member of the COAB."

Five members of the COAB will be Portland Police Bureau employees and will be advisory only. Fifteen members will be civilian community members who are not city employees and will be voting members. The fifteen voting members will include members selected through three different processes:

• Five members will be appointed by each of the five members of Portland City Council.

• The Chairs of the Portland Human Rights Commission and the Portland Commission on Disabilities will each designate one person from each of those committees and will jointly select three community members to serve as representatives of the mental health community on the COAB, after soliciting and reviewing applications from the public.

• The community-at-large will select five members directly from the community through a yet-to-be-established voting process.

For a previous Portland Tribune story on the settlement, visit portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/244739-111547-city-follows-up-on-police-reform-demands.

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