While federal agents pull protesters into unmarked vans just an hour and a half to the north, the City Club of Eugene is bringing together some of the most influential voices in Eugene law enforcement to discuss police transparency and accountability. The first of this two-part series, “Accountability and Transparency in Local Law Enforcement,” is noon Friday, July 24, and will look at the current system of police oversight and potential deficits and opportunities for reform.
Included on the three-person panel will be Eugene Police Auditor Mark Gissiner, whose office is responsible for investigating all Eugene police misconduct reports. “Between us and the Civilian Review Board, we are the only ones on the outside that bear witness to what the police are doing and whether it’s right or wrong,” he says. While the police auditor’s office investigates misconduct, it plays no role in disciplinary actions. In Oregon, all disciplinary histories of police officers are confidential.
Gissiner says he is excited to discuss ways both his office and the police can improve transparency and accountability in law enforcement.
University of Oregon professor Michael Hames-García and Black activist Isiah Wagoner will also be on the panel. Wagoner was the victim of a hit-and-run last month at a Black Unity children’s march.
The second program, “Alternatives to Policing: Reform in Law Enforcement” featuring Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner, Eugene-Springfield NAACP President Ibrahim Coulibaly and CAHOOTS co-founder David Zeiss, is noon July 31.
The discussions are at noon and will be live streamed on the City Club of Eugene Facebook Page. — Joseph Cappelletti