From:Lino Pavon
Apr 27,2012
To: President, NOBLE Roy Jay

Mr. Roy Jay (The Man)
I just wanted to thank you again for all that you have done for me. I
appreciate all the time invested in helping me get back on the police
Again, thank you. If there is anything I can do for you and NOBLE
please include me. I’m very grateful.
Lino Pavon

Portland community leaders of color work to reinstate fired police officer

Published: Friday, May 18, 2012, 5:00 PM

By Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian

While community members last month marched around Portland City Hall to protest an arbitrator’s ruling to reinstate fired Portland officer Ron Frashour, other city leaders privately rallied to bring back another fired police officer.

Representatives of the African American and Latino communities challenged the March 25 firing of Portland Officer Lino Pavon, sent letters to the mayor and met with Chief Mike Reese.

Three weeks later, the chief ordered Pavon, a probationary officer, rehired — an unprecedented turn of events that revealed a remarkable influence by minority leaders to save a Portland officer’s job.

Minority makeup of Portland police officers

African American: 36, or 3.75 percent

Asian: 58, or 6.04 percent

Female: 153 or 15.92 percent

Latino: 34, or 3.54 percent

Native American: 5, or .52 percent

Pacific Islander: 1, or .10 percent

Two or more races: 4, or .42 percent

Total minority/female: 291, or 30.28 percent

Total sworn officers: 961

Source: Portland Police Bureau
Community leaders said they thought the new officer had been unfairly treated because of his race and because he came from outside Oregon. They voiced broader concerns about the culture within the bureau’s training division — what they consider its “subjective” field training program for recruits and the lack of people of color as training instructors.

Ten community leaders, including Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber President Gale Castillo and State Rep. Lew Frederick, wrote to Reese on April 10, saying they were compelled to act.

“It is clear to us that Lino Pavon experienced disparate treatment,” the letter said. “Some of us have spent years working within the criminal justice system and understand the dedication and pride, yet exclusivity, of the police culture. Unfortunately, we see elements of exclusion in Officer Pavon’s dismissal.”

The police chief, through his spokesman Lt. Robert King, declined comment about his decision to rehire Pavon, or the community concerns. “Decisions related to hiring employees with the city are personnel matters and therefore we cannot provide you with the details you have requested,” King wrote in an email.

Pavon was sworn in as a Portland police officer April 14, 2011, after he was recruited from Southern California. He was among five entry-level recruits who completed a basic police academy out of state, and granted a waiver to skip Oregon’s basic academy.

Before completing the California academy, Pavon worked eight years as security coordinator for Sony Pictures Entertainment. The married father of two had wanted to be a police officer since he was 10, said Roy Jay, an advocate of Pavon and president of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives. He moved to Portland, hoping to complete probation with Portland police and eventually move his wife and children from Los Angeles.

Pavon received glowing reviews from his field training officers, according to bureau records obtained by community members.

Officer Michael Stradley, a well-respected bureau veteran, wrote of Pavon in late May 2011: “Excellent attitude toward the job and the public; Good work ethic; Treats the public the way I would want an officer to treat my family; Works hard to learn in areas he is not the strongest in; does not hesitate to try something new; has good life experience to draw upon.”

The next month, Stradley wrote that Pavon was “head and shoulders above what I have seen in the past from officers out of the basic academy.”

But the evaluations suddenly slid downhill.

A police memo detailed how in June 2011 Pavon failed to perform a personal safety check and brought a live round into the defensive tactics classroom. Per policy, Pavon wrote a memo about the error and gave it to an instructor in a timely manner, records show.

In July 2011, an officer noted that Pavon failed to recite a new mnemonic verse to guide officer use of force, that he’d overslept and was late to class one day, and that he’d used threatening words to another recruit during a defensive-tactics drill. In the drill, Pavon was asked to role-play a suspect attacking an officer. He said he was simulating a street encounter, and told the officer “to face his threat” or he was going to punch him.

In mid-August, Pavon left his gun belt with a loaded gun in an unsecured classroom during a lunch break. He also was cited for picking up a shotgun off the ground while an instructor was down range.

While Pavon admitted his errors, he also told training instructors he felt like he was being watched more closely than other recruits, records show.

On Feb. 13 this year, Officer Sara Fox wrote that Pavon is a “team player,” has a “great attitude about police work,” “eager to learn” and is “patient and kind to citizens that call us.”

By Feb. 22, when Pavon was working on his own as a probationary officer, training Sgt. William Goff wrote that Pavon had shown a “protracted pattern of poor judgment,” and a “lack of integrity” when answering supervisors’ questions.

“The repetitive nature of these issues raises serious doubts as to the ability of Officer Pavon to meet the acceptable standard of performance required to function effectively as a Portland Police Officer,” Goff wrote.

Pavon was given the option to resign but he refused and was terminated.

Jay said Pavon’s records showed a significant “difference of opinion” according to training officers. He acknowledged that Pavon had made mistakes, but said, “That’s why you’re in training. You are going to make mistakes.”

Jay heard about the firing from other officers of color in the bureau. While some of Pavon’s errors were serious, veteran officers felt they could be corrected, Jay said. Jay met with Pavon, was impressed with his candor and poise, and introduced him to community leaders.

“This was sort of a no-brainer to us,” Jay said of his decision to intervene. “This was a clear-cut case of trying to correct some things that were not right.”

Castillo said she wondered what the bureau offered Pavon to help him correct his mistakes. “We just urged the chief and others who are major policymakers to be aware of the changing work force and how some of these objective reviews can have a devastating effect on someone’s life,” she said. “We need to be more circumspect about those subjective items and who’s making those assessments.”

Frederick, Joy and Castillo expressed concern about the lack of trainers of color in the bureau (within the last month, the bureau named Derrick Foxworth Jr., who is African American, as a new patrol tactics instructor). They told the chief it was important not only to recruit a more diverse force but also to work to retain such officers.

The chief rehired Pavon on April 16 and extended his 18-month probation by 30 days, through November. He works at East Precinct.

“I’m very grateful for them speaking out for me,” Pavon said Thursday of the community support. He said he’s also grateful that the community leaders took the time to examine his training records and recognize that “there’s more for me to offer at the Portland Police Bureau.”

Jay said the community leaders intend to monitor Pavon’s career and “make sure he reaches his potential, and there’s no reprisals or repercussions.”

They agreed that community pressure helped convince the chief to keep Pavon.

Said Castillo: “I do feel the influence of community members helped save this officer’s j

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