PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police still maintain an informal list of active gang members despite discontinuing a formal gang designation practice following criticism from community advocates last year, according to a city audit.
Portland auditors were examining the operations of the police bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team when they discovered that it has kept the list since 2015, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Wednesday.
The list that’s posted on the bureau’s intranet is not supervised and does not include a method for notifying subjects on it, auditors said. The list contains information of about 30 people, including their names, addresses, gang affiliations and details on their probation or supervision.
The list is used to provide investigators with potential leads, ultimately aiming to prevent victimization and violence, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a bureau spokesman.
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“The purpose is to identify people who have demonstrated that they are at risk for being involved in gang-related violence, based on recent involvement in such incidents,” Simpson said.
The bureau ended a gang designation system last fall after about two decades of operation. Under that system, officers were required to record evidence that people met criteria to be on the list. Police also had to notify people on the list and provide an opportunity for them to appeal the designation.
City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero said police need supervision over the active list, noting the 1994 ruling by a federal judge that prohibited Portland police from designating gang members without due process.
Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said guidelines for the list will be drafted by July. The guidelines are expected to cover how police identify people for the list and how its information is used.
“As a police agency, we remain committed to transparency and are willing to always pursue enhancements that benefit the bureau’s efforts in ensuring public safety in our service of the Portland community,” Outlaw said in a statement.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com