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City still mediating with Albina Ministerial Alliance on police settlement

The City of Portland has not been able to reach an agreement with the union representing police officers over the terms of the U.S. Department of Justice settlement concerning police mistreatment of the mentally ill and other minorities.

However, according to Mayor Charlie Hales, the city is continuing to work towards an agreement with another party in the federal suit, the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition.

Hales says he was briefed late last week regarding the mediation with the AMA.

“We can’t talk about details, in that these are confidential mediations. We are pleased to continue moving forward with the AMA Coalition,” Hales said in a prepared statement released Monday. “As for the [Portland Police Association], we have areas of agreement and areas of disagreement, and we’re working with the court to give us direction on the path forward.”

The City Council unanimously approved the settlement agreement between the city and the federal Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in November 2012. The PPA and the AMA then petitioned the court to be parties to the federal suit.

An agreement with the AMA Coalition could be finalized within two weeks, Hales says.

The case is before U.S. District Judge Michael Simon. Hales says Simon is expected to address the results of the mediation soon.

“We’re waiting to find out what the next steps are,” Hales said in the statement. “The judge will tell us how to move forward.”

Although the settlement still awaits approval by Simon, the Portland Police Bureau is moving forward to embrace many of the reforms, Hales says.