After a day dominated by the announcement of a federal probe into whether the Portland Police Bureau violates civil rights in the way it uses force, it's worth noting some other cop-related news that's come forward today—also holding the potential for some modest leaps in accountability.

At the Citizen Review Committee's (CRC) regular monthly meeting tonight, Independent Police Review Director Mary-Beth Baptista announced that she or a senior member of her staff would now be invited to any crime scene involving an officer-involved shooting or in-custody death. That same staffer also will be invited to Internal Affairs investigative briefings throughout the course of the ensuing investigation.

The change, long requested by advocates but frequently refused by police bureau officials, became police policy in March. Baptista asked her deputy, Constantin Severe, to try one more time with the cops earlier this year, and this time, apparently, Chief Mike Reese gave it his blessing.

"They are now seeing what you have seen for years, that it's important," Baptista said. "It was something that was brought up continuously and but ignored. But now that there's been a philosophy shift, there was an openness and a willingness" to make a change.

Later, she then wanted to make clear that just because she's saying good things about the bureau doesn't mean she or her office are "too cozy with police," a criticism leveled at her predecessors.

"We had a long, hard fight last year. It was awful. It was not a good time," she told the room, referencing the battle to expand her office's power, a fight that started under a different chief and commissioner. "My recognition of the philosophy shift is just highlighting that there's a respect for oversight at the bureau now."

In another change, Baptista's regular reports to the CRC now include the status of current probes into officer-involved shootings. (She was there to talk up the IPR's annual report; here's another look at it.)

The highlight? Possible discipline in the shooting death of Jack Dale Collins last year has cleared the new Police Review Board and is sitting on the chief's desk. The investigation of Keaton Otis' death is awaiting review from the North Precinct commander before heading to the PRB.

There's still no formal timeline for completing these investigations, although as Captain Dave Famous, head of the bureau's IA division, told the room as convincingly as possible: "The bureau is doing its best to improve the timeliness of those analyses."

Also revealed: The CRC will be allowed, at the insistence of Reese, to review all IA files related to the whistle-blower case filed by former cop recruit Lindsey Hunt, a federal case that's been well-documented by Oregonian reporter Maxine Bernstein.

That review, however, won't start until a judge rules on a second finding in the case. A jury ruled last week against Hunt's claims of retaliation for raising her complaints.

But that review will achieve isn't exactly clear. It's unlikely that IPR will open an independent investigation into the case, separate from what the IA investigators already did.

Baptista also will attend advanced academy training for new recruits to talk to them about how they, too, can use the IPR office.

"We do get anonymous complaints from bureau members. I got one recently," she said. "They are using our system. They do know that we exist."

In one other footnote, CRC member Rochelle Silver asked if the CRC should ask the Portland City Council to consider naming a street for James Chasse Jr., who died in police custody after he was beaten by officers and kept from prompt medical treatment in September 2006.

The idea met with silence, initially. And then skepticism—why not Aaron Campbell or anybody else?—before a motion was made to hold off discussion for another month to think about it.