In March, when the Portland City Council approved a new training center for the Portland Police Bureau, one of the proposal's quieter elements also called for the creation of a "training advisory council"—including citizens—who would have the police chief's ear and meditate on how best to train our cops.
This morning, the city put out a call for interested participants, setting an August 31 deadline to fill out an application that actually requires a fair amount of thoughtful writing.
Previous news stories about the council, citing police brass, said its members would be graduates of the bureau's Community Academy. The mayor's office, however, doesn't mention that requirement in its writeup about the council. Instead it just says whoever is selected will have to serve for two years, at least, endure a criminal background check, and sign a nondisclosure agreement.
I've asked the mayor's spokeswoman, Caryn Brooks, if she could track down whether there's a specific number of civilian spots the bureau is looking to fill. And I've also asked to see a copy of the nondisclosure form that that participants would have to sign. I'm hoping the NDA doesn't mean the group's quarterly meetings will be private and off limits to citizens and reporters. Brooks is on it, and I'll update when I hear back.
Provided none of this is too odious, start thinking of good, smart, progressive people you'd like to see weigh in on police training and send 'em this link.