Mayor Charlie Hales' office posted his weekly calendar this afternoon. It's mostly what you'd expect for a mayor two weeks from tipping his hand on the city budget, at his State of the City speech: check-ins with the city budget office and human resources and city commissioners. But one entry, this Wednesday, jumps out.
Hales is going to be sitting down for half an hour with Rosie Sizer, the police chief fired by then-Mayor Sam Adams amid a nasty budget spat in 2010. Sizer was replaced by someone long seen as a rival for the top job, Mike Reese, the current chief, who'd earned a lot of respect in political and downtown circles during his time as Central Precinct commander. Before Sizer moved him to East Precinct.
Hales' spokesman says the mayor personally reached out to Sizer to talk about one of his major agenda items: community policing. Sizer started, at former Mayor Tom Potter's behest, a racial profiling committee. That committee has become the city's current Community and Police Relations Committee, and its come up with a training program on institutional racism that's been given to all of command staff as of December and will soon roll out to the rest of the bureau.
I asked Hales' spokesman, Dana Haynes, if the call was about something broader—leadership concerns atop the bureau. He says the half-hour meeting was built around a simple pitch to Sizer.
"We're talking about community policing," Haynes says, "and we want your input."
A message left with Reese's spokesman, Sergeant Pete Simpson, seeking comment on the meeting has not yet been returned.
Portland Copwatch's Dan Handelman remembers Sizer's racial profiling work, naturally, but not so much her ever using the words "community policing."
That said, "it's not a bad thing for [Hales] to be looking at what it means, what's it going to turn into..."
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