Update 11:20 am: Jason Renaud of the Mental Health Association of Portland emailed a thought that should have been the headline. Based on the roster we obtained, and without a look at the applications to see if someone privately indicated otherwise:
Persons with mental illness—the most likely persons be in a crisis and be able to reflect to officers what a crisis experience is like—are unrepresented on the list from the Mercury.
Update 12:10 pm: Portland Copwatch's Dan Handelman got an answer from Mike Reese's office on the lack of notification.
The meetings of the Training Advisory Council (TAC) are not subject to the requirements of the Public Meetings Law. Nevertheless, the Mayor and Chief expect the full TAC to allow the general public to watch its work except on those occasions the TAC members discusses tactics or capabilities that should remain confidential for the benefit of public safety. Tonight's meeting is for the formation of the TAC. The agenda will include group introductions, organizing members into sub groups, review of the sub group work. Unfortunately, there will not be an opportunity for public comment as this meeting is primarily for organizing the TAC into an active work group. The calendar of meeting dates will be available tonight along with a fact sheet of the various work groups. Be sure to pick up copies.
After this first meeting, there will be a second follow-up planning session. At that meeting, the TAC will set whatever rules for its meetings to efficiently conduct its business. Hope this information is helpful.
Original post starts here:
No, the Portland Police Bureau hasn't made a big deal about it—not saying much at all, really—but the bureau's new Training Advisory Council (TAC) will meet for the first time at 6 tonight at the new and not-terribly-convenient police training center (14912 NE Airport Way).
The bureau had privately acknowledged that date late last month when asked about it specificially—but never sent out a public notice advertising the meeting. It's unclear if the failure to do so breaks city rules. One of the TAC's new members, Jeff Bissonnette, confirmed the date and time last night at the regular meeting of the Citizen Review Committee (CRC). He said he sent in his application, agreed to undergo a background check, and later got something in the mail telling him where to show up and when.
The TAC was unveiled last year as part of the bureau's plan for purchasing and rehabbing its training facility—designed as a kitchen cabinet of community voices who would make recommendations to the chief. After the Mercury and advocates raised a stink over whether the meetings would be open (initially they weren't), Police Chief Mike Reese and then-Mayor Sam Adams backtracked and promised that they would be.
Reese, in an interview with last month, spelled out the bureau's vision for the group:
So we'll have three different subcommittees looking at defensive tactics, our patrol tactics, and looking at, maybe, firearms or Tasers. And you have a smaller executive committee. We would let people pick which area they were most interested in. I'm hoping everybody who put in will get to participate.
The Mercury obtained the TAC's roster through a records request. And I've tried to go through and biographical detail to as many names as I could. The list includes an ex-cop accused of breaking someone's arm, learning consultants, business types, the former police liaison for two mayors, a well-regarded state lobbyist, and others semi-famous and unknown. Hit the jump—and fill in any gaps in the comments if you've got something.
Alston, Santi: assistant dean for inclusion, engagement, and success at Reed College
Bissonnette, Jeffrey: current member of the city's police oversight Citizen Review Committee; former Portland City Council candidate; organizing director for the Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon (CUB).
Block, Jerald: psychiatrist who specializes in studying "Internet addiction."
Bremmer, Robert: learning and instructional consultant, instructor at Portland State
Fenske, McKay: software trainer and also a customer support analyst for a company named Sage.
Geness, Geoff: Portland chiropractor and acupuncturist who has served in the Navy.
Hayden, Suzanne: executive director of the Portland Business Alliance-affiliated Citizens Crime Commission; former Multnomah County prosecutor.
Heekin, Katherine: fraud-focused lawyer who mounted a brief campaign for Oregon attorney general last year.
Hershey, Edward: marketing and public relations consultant and former SEIU communications director whose website describes him as such: "There are many accomplished sportswriters, reporters, book authors, appointed and elected officials, university administrators, theater presidents, and basketball announcers, but probably few who are all of the above. Edward Hershey draws from these endeavors and more in his current work."
Leonard, Kristen: lobbyist in Salem for progressive groups—rated quite highly by lawmakers in the Mercury's most recent survey of lobbyists.
Lowenthal, Corinne: artist who specializes in "production management and stage management services."
Marschke, Gary: retiree who volunteers on Multnomah County's Citizen Involvement Committee.
Pittman, Roy: longtime youth wrestling coach at North Portland's Peninsula Park.
Priest, Paul: operation manager at American Medical Response.
Rosado, Caleb: urban studies professor at Warner Pacific College who specializes in race relations and religion.
Seung, Steven: radiation oncologist at Providence Portland Medical Center. "God heals, and I hope to be His instrument."
Turner, Damon: Member of Portland's Human Rights Commission.
Weir, Jill: vice president of operations for Camp Fire Columbia.