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Deadline extended for police oversight board applications

Portland has extended the time for residents to apply to serve on a board that will oversee changes in the Portland Police Bureau required by the settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who is overseeing the process for serving on the Community Oversight Advisory Board (COAB), announced Friday that it has been extended from then until Jan. 16.

“We have received over 80 applications from people who want to help improve the way the City serves individuals experiencing, or perceived to be experiencing, mental health crises,” Fritz says. “The COAB is a crucially important role in implementing these reforms, and I want to be sure that every person interested in applying has the opportunity to do so.”

The agreement calls for reforms to Portland Police Bureau policies and training, particularly related to contact with people who have or are perceived to have mental illness. The DOJ investigation determined police have a pattern of using excessive force against the mentally ill.

The application, developed with community partners, is available to download from Fritz’s website at www.portlandonline.com/fritz/index.cfm?c=49247&a=512191). Paper copies are available in neighborhood coalition offices. Interested persons can also apply online: bit.ly/COABapplication.