Portland Blocks Federal Immigration Agency From Training Facility

After an internal review, the Portland Police Bureau is no longer allowing use of its Training Division facility by a portion of the United States Department of Homeland Security because the use of the facility must be consistent with the City's values and Federal, State, and local laws. City of Portland Resolution 37277 states, "The City will continue to, in a manner consistent with state and federal law, prohibit the use of City funds, personnel or equipment to enforce federal immigration law." The Bureau is sensitive to community concerns and wants to ensure PPB is in alignment with City values and all applicable laws.

The City's Training Division on Northeast Airport Way was built in 2012 and remodels were complete in 2014. It includes classroom space, two firearms ranges, a scenario village training area, and vehicle operations area. It was funded through a $15 million bond measure.

The bond agreement requires that PPB leases the facility to other law enforcement agencies to help offset the costs. The City of Portland has contracts with 38 other agencies to use the facility. Requests for use are vetted through the City Attorney's office.

In December 2018, the City of Portland signed contracts with the Department of Homeland Security to allow its law enforcement agents to utilize PPB's Training Division facility. That included agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). PPB was not involved in the training.

On September 16, 2019, PPB was advised about the potential conflict with City values and DHS' use of the facility was suspended while a review could be done. After review, action was taken to cancel the contract with Enforcement and Removal Operations.

This decision only affects the ERO side of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which does not enforce immigration laws, will continue to use PPB's facility for training.

"The use of PPB's training facility by other law enforcement agencies should be consistent with City values," said Chief Danielle Outlaw. "A mistake was made due to miscommunication during the contract approval process. When the oversight was brought to our attention, we took immediate action. We already had a new process in place for contracts prior to this being brought forth, which ensures proper oversight, review, and approval of contracts."

Source: City of Portland

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