For nearly a year now, law enforcement has been the target of media, activists, and left-wing politicians. Hysteria has been building that law enforcement infrastructures in America are inherently prejudiced and need radical reform to meet new “community standards.” A key part of this new agenda is often installing political police oversight boards to oversee local departments. Now, Portland, Maine is the latest American city to explore adopting a stronger police oversight board.
Proposed Changes to Portland Police Oversight
Recently in the city, a panel called ‘The Racial Equity Steering Committee’ was created to explore the “racial inequities” within the city and an interim report submitted to the city council has numerous suggestions to help build better “equity” within the city’s policing. ABC affiliate WMTW in Maine noted that suggestions made to the city were to create a new city department focused solely on racial equity and to create a new “crisis response model.”
“This response model may work in collaboration with Portland PD on certain calls but it should not be housed within Portland PD or receive funding from the Portland PD,” said Samaa Abdurraqib of the steering committee. The suggestions made to city council reflect the growing movement within many leftwing governments to advocate non-police response to emergencies related to drug abuse, mental health, and homelessness.
Racial Equity Audit & Annual Anti-Bias Trainings for City of Portland Staff
But the suggestions do not end there.
According to an executive summary of the committee’s recommendations, the group also advocates “A recommendation for the PPD, all City of Portland staff, and all City Council members to undergo a racial equity audit and to engage in racial equity or anti-bias trainings annually.”
Creation of Portland Police Oversight Board
The committee also finds the current police oversight infrastructure of the city to be insufficient, according to the summary. The committee goes on to make “a recommendation to dissolve the Police Citizen Review Subcommittee in its current iteration and to create a committee that: is transparent; provides true accountability; and is open to all members of Portland’s community, regardless of their experiences with the criminal justice system.”
Creating an oversight board with no requirements for experience in law enforcement or the judicial system leaves the door open for uninformed judgements and the politicization of law enforcement. But for the committee, they believe it is in the best interest to give a new oversight board even more power than the current one wields. It is a board the committee alleges is inherently prejudiced. “The committee is firm in their belief that the current disqualifications attached to the PCRS stigmatize and punish people who have been arrested and/or who have been incarcerated.”
Whether the city of Portland decides to accept the many social justice oriented recommendations made by The Racial Equity Steering Committee is not known. But the spread of these racially based programs are growing in liberal cities and states around the country.
The emphasis on rooting out “inherent” racism is being used to install procedures and protocols which are radical in nature. If the history of this last year repeats itself, it is likely these proposed changes and oversight boards will be used more to disrupt law enforcement using liberal doctrines and ideologies than towards improving the state of law enforcement in Portland.
Image Credit: Photo by Tito Texidor III on Unsplash
In its never ending cycle to constantly oversee its officers, Chicago has decided to create another oversight board. Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed the Civilian Commission for Public Safety and Accountability. The ordinance itself seems redundant since Chicago already has the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.