Moffitt still stalling on Police oversight, UO wants $1600 for docs

11/28/2015: It’s been several years since UO promised to establish some sort of police oversight committee. John Ahlen and Juan Carlos Valle had an excellent Op-Ed in the RG in June, here:

Mistake No. 1: A healthy police oversight system contains two components missing from the UOPD model — a civilian review that has some teeth to it, and a professional independent auditing body. We’ve seen that a body of community members is being recommended to review certain allegations at the UO, but this is inadequate. They are advisory only and have no authority.

Our understanding is that only one person outside the UOPD, an administrative vice president, a position not expected to have experience administering a police department, has the authority to make changes or require additional investigation.

Mistake No. 2: Certainly it is not a good sign that there have already been UOPD misconduct cases under their watch that have already been overturned. Seeing the UOPD’s response to the “bowl of expletives” controversy — in which officers maintained a supposedly humorous list of enemies — didn’t give us much faith that they would be able to police themselves, as the underlying message seemed to be that boys will be boys. A professional, independent auditor is the way to make sure that allegations of misconduct are properly investigated.

Having an effective oversight system is not difficult at all for the city of Eugene, so why is it so challenging for UOPD?

Mistake No. 3: Of greatest concern is the question of why this wasn’t all sorted out before the department bought guns and was granted the authority to use them. The rush to become a police department before analyzing the new use of force policies in place (which were literally cut and pasted from a California policy company handbook) creates liability for the UO.

VPFA Jamie Moffitt has been promising to set up a review committee for years. Noah Mcgraw has the scoop on the latest delays in the Emerald, here. Some people think this committee’s workings should be transparent:

Helena Schlegel, ASUO President, disapproves of the CRC’s format. Schlegel is asking the university to “make their review panel representative of the community and its meetings and decisions transparent to the public.”

“The ASUO currently has no say in either UOPD policy or its internal reviews. We welcome the opportunity to participate meaningfully in police oversight and transparency issues on and off campus,” Schlegel said.

But UO’s Public Records Office thinks it’s not in the public’s interest to know, unless you’ve got $1600:

On WednesdayAug 5, 2015, at 4:28 PM, Thornton, Lisa <pubrec@uoregon.edu> wrote:

08/05/2015

Dear Mr. Harbaugh: 

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “copies of any ‘minutes, agendas, reports, and correspondence’ involving ‘boards and councils that function in an advisory capacity, standing and ad hoc committees and councils’ that primarily involve the UOPD. This request covers the period from 1/1/2011 to the present” on 06/24/2015, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request.  By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $1,660.68. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon for that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure.  Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

10/22/2015: UO Campus Cops Lack Oversight

That’s the headline from the Camilla Mortensen story in the Eugene Weekly, here. Long report with many interesting quotes:

Under the UO model, there is a Complaint Resolution Committee (CRC) made up of students, administrators, UO employees and four “at-large” members. There is no independent auditor. The committee “provides recommendations to the vice president for finance and administration to help ensure that complaints regarding the conduct of sworn members of the UOPD and UOPD policies are resolved in a fair, thorough, reasonable and expeditious manner.”

Jamie Moffitt, who is the UO vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer, says via email that the UO committee’s responsibilities and other aspects of the process “were developed after more than a year of research into various models of oversight used by municipalities and universities by a working group made up of students, faculty, staff and a local government/community liaison, with input from the Eugene police auditor.”

Actually, that was supposed to happen a year ago. Moffitt still has not appointed anyone to the CRC. More:

Chris Wig, a UO grad, says the jury verdict should be a wakeup call for the UO to change its process and adds that “worse than not changing” its process, the UO has not apologized to the students and community members that were on the “Bowl of Dicks” list. He calls this “indicative of an arrogance and that we don’t need to be accountable.”

 Wig says his criticism of the UOPD’s process comes not from his position on Eugene’s CRB but as a private citizen and a candidate for a seat on the Eugene City Council.

Associated Students of the UO President Helena Schlegel says she only recently found out about UOPD’s complaint resolution process “and was immediately concerned.” She says, “I do not see how the current process is effective, and the ASUO is providing input to UOPD and the UO administration to work towards changes that allow for more transparency and collaboration with the campus community.”

Wilde shares the concerns about transparency. He says, “The university’s police complaints process does not require participation by anyone outside of the university community and requires all participants to keep proceedings confidential. How can the public trust a secret process run by insiders?”

10/21/2015: VPFA Jamie Moffitt to set up toothless Police review committee

The proposal for a “Complaint Resolution Committee” is here. Dominated by administrative appointees, no participation from the UO Senate, and toothless:

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 11.47.53 AM

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8/5/2015: Not in public interest for public to see UO Police committee documents, UO wants $1600

Oregon Administrative Rule 166-475, which deals with document retention, says

(3) Advisory Board Records Records document the activities of boards and councils that function in an advisory capacity. Boards and councils may have as their charge highly specific or broad areas of concern and include members from outside the institution. This series may include but is not limited to meeting minutes; agendas; reports; notes; working papers; audio recordings; transcriptions; and related documentation and correspondence. (Retention: (a) Permanent for minutes, agendas, reports, and correspondence (b) 3 years for all other records, destroy)

and

(9) Committee Records Records document the activities of standing and ad hoc committees and councils made up of members from a variety of units. The committees are charged with formulating and recommending institutional policies and procedures, establishing standards and requirements, performing an advisory function, or reviewing petitions, appeals, and deviations from policy. Types of committees include administrative committees (those appointed by an administrator) and faculty senate committees (those created by the faculty senate’s executive committee). They may function as steering committees, activities committees, standards committees, planning committees, academic committees, awards committees, councils, etc. Committees may be chaired by the director of a specific unit or rotate to different chairs on a regular basis. This series may include but is not limited to agendas; meeting minutes; reports; notes; working papers; and related documentation and correspondence. (Retention: (a) Permanent for agendas, minutes, reports, and correspondence (b) 10 years for all other records of Faculty Senate Committees, destroy (c) 2 years for all other records of other committees, destroy)

So I made a public records request for

“copies of any ‘minutes, agendas, reports, and correspondence’ involving ‘boards and councils that function in an advisory capacity, standing and ad hoc committees and councils’ that primarily involve the UOPD.”

Today, about 6 weeks later, I got this response:

On WednesdayAug 5, 2015, at 4:28 PM, Thornton, Lisa <pubrec@uoregon.edu> wrote:

08/05/2015

Dear Mr. Harbaugh: 

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “copies of any ‘minutes, agendas, reports, and correspondence’ involving ‘boards and councils that function in an advisory capacity, standing and ad hoc committees and councils’ that primarily involve the UOPD. This request covers the period from 1/1/2011 to the present” on 06/24/2015, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request.  By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $1,660.68. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon for that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure.  Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

I note you requested a waiver based on an assertion that release of these documents is in the public interest.  The office has performed the three-part analysis of your request, has determined that your request does not meet the public interest test, and has exercised its discretion to deny your request for a fee waiver. …

So, state law requires the university to retain these records – some of them in the UO archives, permanently. But UO wants to charge $1,660.68 for people to see them, and doesn’t think there’s a public interest in waiving the fee. Must be some interesting stuff hidden away there.

I guess the next step is to ask the UO Archives for them, on a zip drive.

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7 Responses to Moffitt still stalling on Police oversight, UO wants $1600 for docs

  1. 'dead duck' says:

    To my regret this does not come as a surprise, given all the deception that has surrounded this process from the beginning. It is not encouraging that the New Pres is taking such a passive approach, does he still think he is living Chicago? or in need of protection in Holmby Hills? The charge to Public Safety needs to be reviewed, so too the budget and the division of responsibilities with the Eugene Police Dept. My preference is well known: focus on the campus, build confidence among the constituents, remove weapons, walk a beat, talk to people, visit departments, etc.

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  2. Angel says:

    It makes me cringe every time I see that the VP for Student Affairs/Life has any input on important decision making processes. This person cannot be trusted so why would anyone think that having her participation in this process would be on the up and up?

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  3. christopher lee says:

    No locals? These are armed cops who venture out beyond campus. I live between N. Bertelsen and Hwy. 99 and have seen UOPD out here. God knows what for. I’m not sure how I’d react if they came around wanting something. What are their limits? I’d like to know. Their behavior has been poor at best since inception.

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    • Dog says:

      Document that with a picture and report it to the Eugene Police Dept – because that is definitely not allowed (especially as armed), unless the UOPD definition of “campus” is very loose ….

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      • Person says:

        Any certified police officer in Oregon can enforce anywhere in the state. Policy may prevent that for some agencies, but the law doesn’t. Maybe they were contacting someone about a crime that happened on campus?

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  4. christopher lee says:

    I’ve seen them down around Chambers and 6th, also. Trouble is being in my car limits getting a photo. And they may be able to enforce law anywhere. I would just like to know what the hell is pulling them away from campus. I looked for a dispatch log like EPD has and there’s nothing. If it’s not transparent from the start it never will be.

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