Mike Westling
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HB 2002 receives bipartisan support from Joint Ways and Means Committee

Salem, Ore. – Legislation to ban the practice of profiling as a law enforcement tactic received bipartisan approval Tuesday from the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Committee. HB 2002 also requires law enforcement agencies to collect complaint data about profiling and establishes a process for accepting and addressing profiling complaints. The legislation will next move to the Oregon House and the Oregon Senate for passage before heading to the desk of Governor Kate Brown for her signature.

“Profiling doesn’t come from a training manual – it’s a cultural problem,” said Senator Chris Edwards. “By collecting data and establishing the authority to track and investigate complaints, HB 2002 will help eliminate this tactic from our communities.”

HB 2002 will also create the Law Enforcement Profiling Work Group, a new entity tasked with proposing a process to identify patterns or practices of profiling, identifying methods to address and correct these practices and biased policies, and preparing a report identifying any additional statutory changes that are needed to achieve these goals.

“Profiling in policing isn’t just an inconvenience – it’s a practice that actively weakens public safety efforts and has real, damaging effects on our communities,”said Rep. Brad Witt. “Law enforcement, community groups, and folks from across the state are supporting this bill because it provides tangible ways that we address this challenge together. “

"The issue is complex but this bill is need to help move things forward in the right direction,” said Senator Chuck Thomsen.

To be effective, law enforcement officials must have the full confidence of the communities they serve. The Oregon Association Chiefs of Police and the Oregon Sheriffs Association have been actively engaged in the creation of policy to end profiling in policing. Both organizations were at the table helping to craft the final proposal and have endorsed HB 2002.

“The problem of profiling isn’t limited to places like Portland,” said Jeana Frazzini, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon. Around the state, members of the LGBTQ community, especially people of color and transgender individuals, are targeted by law enforcement because of who they are. This legislation will help make Oregon a safer and more just place to live by establishing procedures for accepting complaints and holding law enforcement accountable.”

HB 2002 will help Oregon shift away from profiling-based policing tactics to community policing, a more effective public safety strategy that fosters trust between law enforcement officers and communities by building partnerships and addressing the conditions that generate public safety issues.

“This effort is an opportunity to build trust and create partnerships between law enforcement and members of the community,” said Lane County NAACP President Eric Richardson. “By working together to change the culture of policing in Oregon, we can make our neighborhoods safer and strengthen our communities.”

AuthorChristine Saunders