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Portland's racial equity panel calls for more police oversight

Council-appointed committee recommends new city department to address racial bias in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland's Racial Equity Steering Committee presented an interim report and a list of recommendations at Monday's city council meeting.

Mayor Kate Snyder along with councilors appointed the committee following a series of Black Lives Matter demonstrations over the summer.

The committee's recommendations for the city included: 

  • Adopting a crisis response model
  • Recommending city staff and the portland police department attend anti-bias training, 
  • Creating new city departments to oversee human rights and racial equity initiatives
  • Developing and implementing framework for an equitable COVID-19 homelessness response. 

the committee has been meeting since October and was slated to finish all recommendations in January but needed more time, The council granted an extension to April 1.