History and Structure of the IPA

Eugene Charter Section 15-A, External Review of Police and City Code provisions establish the structure and authority of the City’s current police oversight system.  Below, you will find additional information regarding the timeline of events that led to the formation of the Independent Police Auditor’s Office, Ordinances and Charter documents, as well as other historical information. 

  1. Timeline of Events
  2. Ordinances and Charter Documents
  3. Other Historical Information

The timeline of events leading to the City’s current police oversight system is as follows: 

  • March 2004:  Former Eugene Police Chief Lehner requests the Police Commission to review Eugene’s police oversight process and system. 
  • July 2004: City Council approves the Eugene Police Commission work plan (and $65,000 in contingency funds) to undertake the review of the process for handling police complaints and different models of civilian oversight for processing complaints against the police department.  
  • March 2004 – July 2005:  The Police Commission’s 15-month review process includes the following:  
    • Review of Eugene Police Department (EPD)’s 2004 policies and procedures for filing complaints and conducting internal investigations.
    • Research and examination of other models of civilian oversight in place nationally through site visits, documentation review, and a consultant’s report (“Review of National Police Oversight Models”) prepared by Police Assessment Resource Center;
    • Public outreach through various efforts including a stakeholder list of 300 names/addresses and 13 public forums to solicit a broad range of ideas and suggestions for improvements to the complaint system; and, 
    • Development of recommendations to improve the internal affairs process, including options for incorporating additional civilian oversight in the system.
  • July 25, 2005: Police Commission submits its final report to the City Council: Police Complaint System Civilian Oversight Recommendations.   
    • The Police Commission’s 31-page report recommends a “hybrid” police oversight system that combines a professional police auditor and a civilian review board.  As recommended, the professional police auditor would monitor investigations for quality assurance and identifies systemic changes needed to improve the overall performance of the organization while the civilian review board would create opportunities for community members to review and comment on how the department investigates and responds to complaints, promoting a fair and transparent process.
  • August 2005:  City Council adopts Resolution No. 4850 referring to the Eugene voters a City Charter amendment based on the Police Commission’s recommended hybrid model of police oversight.  
  • November 2005: Eugene voters (75%) approve a Charter amendment adding a new Section 15-A “External Review of Police” to the City Charter establishing the office of the Independent Police Auditor and the Civilian Review Board. 
  • October 2006: City Council establishes the Office of the Independent Police Auditor. 
  • December 2006: City Council adopts Ordinance No. 29374 adding code sections concerning the police auditor and CRB. 
  • September 2007: The Police Auditor and the Eugene Police Employees’ Association (EPEA) president agree to a set of Civilian Oversight Protocols consistent with the recently adopted City Charter amendment and City Code provisions. 
  • October 2007: City Council establishes the Civilian Review Board.
  • July 28, 2008: City Council adopts Resolution No. 4954 referring to the Eugene voters amendments to Section 15-A of the City Charter.  
  • November 2008: Eugene voters (62%) approve an amendment to Section 15-A replacing “the city council is authorized to” with “the city council shall” hire an independent police auditor and appointment a civilian review board. 
  • November 2008: City Council creates a committee (“Police Auditor Ordinance Review Committee” or PAORC) to review 18 issues related to the police auditor ordinance, directing the committee to report back to Council by March 2009 after receiving input from the public on any proposed revisions to the ordinance. 
  • March 9, 2009: The PAORC presents its final report to the City Council, including specific recommendations for amending the City Code. 
  • August 11, 2009: City Council adopts Ordinance No. 20435 amending certain code sections related to the police auditor based on the recommendation of the PAORC. This is the last time that the Council amended the police oversight code provisions.