Agency Profile-Portland


Agency: Portland City Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division (IPR)

Contact Information:

Constantin Severe, IPR Director

Portland City Auditor’s Independent Police Review Division
1221 SW 4th Ave, Rm 140

Portland, OR 97204

Phone: 503-823-0146

Fax: 503-823-4571

[email protected]

[email protected]

Agency Website:

Type of oversight mechanism: Hybrid: Audit, Monitoring, and Investigative

Oversight of: Portland Police Bureau (PPB) - Municipal Police Agency

Number of Sworn Officers: 986 (2012)

Population of City: 587,865 (2012)

Enabling Legislation: Portland Code of Ordinances Chapter 3.21 (See Attachment 1)

Budget: Just under $1.5 million annually

Staff: 11.5 full time staff

  • One Independent Police Review Director
  • One Independent Police Review Assistant Director
  • One (half-time) Assistant Program Manager
  • One Senior Management Analyst
  • Five Complaint Investigators
  • One Independent Police Review Management/Legal Assistant
  • One Community Outreach Coordinator
  • One Office Support Specialist/Volunteer Coordinator

(See: Attachment 2 - IPR Assistant Program Manager job description; Attachment 3 - Complaint Investigator job description)

Authority/Function/Jurisdiction: (See: Attachment 1 - Chapter 3.21, Portland Code of Ordinances; Attachment 4 - IPR Case Handling Guidelines;  Attachment 5 -  IPR Policy Review Protocol)

  • The Independent Police Review Division (IPR), a branch of the City Auditor's office is an independent, civilian oversight agency tasked by Portland City Council to investigate and monitor allegations of misconduct by sworn members of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). IPR serves as Portland's intake point for community complaints about PPB officers.
  • After a community member files a complaint, the IPR will assign the case to a complaint investigator for an initial investigation. The investigator will interview the complainant(s), all available civilian witnesses, gather police reports, dispatch records, and video or audio recordings of the incident. The IPR Director (or designee) will then choose to have the complaint handled in one of the ways listed below:
    • Portland Police Bureau PPB Referral: The case can be referred to the Police Bureau Internal Affairs for their review and handling.
    • Dismissal: The complaint can be dismissed if falls under one of the dismissal criteria in IPR’s case handing guidelines (See Attachment 5, IPR Case Handling Guidelines). The case will then be closed and the complainant will receive a letter explaining why the case was dismissed.
    • Mediation: In certain cases, with the approval of both the complainant and the police officer, the case can be mediated. IPR will arrange for an outside mediator to meet with you and the officer with the intent to clear up any misunderstandings by discussing the incident in an informal and non-confrontational setting.
    • Referral: Certain cases may be referred to other City Bureaus if they can more appropriately deal with the complaint. For example, if there is evidence of criminal conduct, the IPR Director can refer the case to the PPB or the District Attorney's Office for a criminal investigation. If the complaint involves a non-PPB officer, then the complaint will be referred to the appropriate police department.
    • Independent Investigation: IPR is authorized under City Code to conduct independent investigations into allegations of police misconduct.
  • The IPR Director reports directly to the City Auditor. In Portland, the City Auditor is an independently elected official.


The Independent Police Review Division was conceived as a multi-faceted oversight agency that has a variety of tools to improve police services. Started in 2002, the IPR Mediation Program was designed to provide an alternative way to resolve citizen complaints.  Mediation provides the opportunity for citizens and officers to meet face to face, and with the guidance of professional mediators, to discuss and resolve their concerns directly with each other rather than turning the matter over to third parties, as happens with investigations.

(See Attachment 6 - IPR Mediation Program Protocols and Attachment 7 - IPR Mediation Program Guidelines)

Volunteer Advisory Board:

The Citizen Review Committee (CRC) was created along with IPR in 2001 to help improve police accountability, promote higher standards of police services, and increase public confidence. In 2014, the CRC expanded from 9 to 11 members. Volunteer CRC members are appointed by City Council to perform four primary functions:

  • Gather community concerns about police services.
  • Help the IPR Director develop policy recommendations to address patterns of problems with police services and conduct.
  • Review and advise IPR and IA on the complaint handling process.
  • Hear appeals from complainants and officers and publicly report its findings.

(See Attachment 8 - Process for Appointment and Reappointment to CRC and Attachment 9 - CRC Member Duties and Responsibilities)

Mission Statement:

The mission of the City Auditor’s office is to foster open and accountable government by conducting independent and impartial reviews that promote fair, efficient, and quality services. In an effort to improve police accountability to the public, the City of Portland established the Independent Police Review Division (IPR) and the Citizen Review Committee (CRC). Together the IPR and CRC jointly comprise an independent, impartial division that operates under the authority of the Portland City Auditor. The IPR has responsibilities akin to a Police Auditor, a Police Monitor and a Police Ombudsman.




1) Chapter 3.21 City Auditor's Independent Police Review Division, Portland Code of Ordinances

2) IPR Assistant Program Manager job description

3) Complaint Investigator job description

4) IPR Case Handling Guidelines

5) IPR Policy Review Protocol

6) IPR Mediation Program Protocols

7) IPR Mediation Program Guidelines

8) Process for Appointment and Reappointment to CRC

9) CRC Member Duties and Responsibilities

10) Complaint Form

11) Internal Affairs Protocols & Procedures – Citizen Initiated Complaints

12) Internal Affairs Protocols & Procedures - Service Complaint Protocol

13) IPR Case File Review Meeting Protocol

14) Appeals Procedures

15) Citizen Review Committee - Independent Police Review Division - Communication Guidelines

16) Citizen Review Committee - Independent Police Review Division - Guidance for Working Together Effectively

17) Citizen Review Committee - Independent Police Review - Review of Tort Claims and Civil Complaints Alleging Tortious Conduct by Portland Police Officers

18) Portland Police Bureau Manual of Policy and Procedure

19) Portland Police Bureau Executive Order - Use of Force