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Officer Anonymity

Officer Anonymity
One of the secret strengths to police officers is their anonymity. 9 - 5 they're uniformed and endorsed. After-hours, despite their actions, they're at liberty to merge with the rest of society without identification.

This gives the individual relief from societal pressure to behave within community standards. It's gives rational to bizarre and dangerous behaviors, such as taking orders they don't actually think about or concern within the golden rule.

A temporary solution for this is  http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/12/national/12NET.html?hp

A large number of PPB officer photos and names have been collected at this indymedia over the past couple of years. The is senior staff photos and bios on the PPB site.

Perhaps some anon webmaster can create a site, which lists PPB, officers by name, precinct address, home address, cell phone, email and photo. I think folks will be surprised to see how many PPB officers live outside of the city of Portland.

Added caveat: I am not endorsing procuring this info in a sneaky or illegal way, or confrontation with off-duty officers in any way.
web site 12.Jul.2003 07:46


You missed the URL for the web site:  http://www.JusticeFiles.org

No! 12.Jul.2003 09:15


This is an extraordinarily bad idea for a host of reasons ... not the least of which is your tongue-in-cheek, wink, wink, evil-grin "disclaimer" which makes it clear that you ARE, in fact, advocating just that which you claim not to.

Yes! 12.Jul.2003 10:22


Police are freely taking records obtained through the access they have on the job to put together private organizations to spy on private citizens and who knows what else, organizations like the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU). This practice either is or should be illegal. Meanwhile these guys are acting as horrible members of the community, beating and killing peaceful citizens while on the job because they know they can get away with it. Police now are more and more just a gang of thugs. A web site as described might give them a conscience, something that does not come naturally to them.

Hypocrisy 12.Jul.2003 10:38


I'll never understand the thought processes of people who claim to favor truth, justice and honorable dealing while simultaneously advocating just the opposite. If you embrace your 'enemies' ethics and behaviors, you become your enemy.

unfortunate reality 12.Jul.2003 10:46

republic of cascadia citizen

as "peacenik" writes, we live in an unfortunate police state, where all levels of law enforcement agencies freely collect information on citizens, whether we have committed crimes or not. if they can do it legally, they do, if they are not able to do it legally, then they use third party organizations such as the LEIU to do their dirty work for them. so, given that REALITY, then one of our ONLY DEFENSES is to "watch the watchers" and attempt to hold them to a small amount of accountability. the odds are not in our favor, but if we do not attempt to defend ourselves, we might as well admit that we are merely victims and we have pissed away our freedoms.

Go for it! 12.Jul.2003 12:38


I'll do my best to provide some "environmental portraits", like Krueger swinging a can of pepper spray, Myers talking into his recorder, Rowley with his bulging red neck, etc.

Which cop? 12.Jul.2003 13:55


Hey, is Meyers the tall cop with blonde hair that was such a bastard at previous protests?

good call 12.Jul.2003 14:20


This is a good idea, and we need this kind of information. It has become clear to me that off duty cops often enjoy the ability to operate above the law almost as much as those who are on-duty. Cops cover up for other cops all the time, and I suprisingly frequent are the instances in which one cop will look the other way as an off duty cop beats their spouse/drives drunk/perpetrates acts of violence/...

Duty Calls 12.Jul.2003 15:02


They also change precincts, rotations and tasks within the Bureau with frequency. Officers often have exclusive information about a particular case or individual which would be helpful to have available. Having a database would be a public service to assist citizens in finding officer's whereabouts.

I disagree with the Washington web site about listing SSI #s. The hypothetical Portland webmaster shouldn't list these. That doesn't serve much purpose aside from tempting fate. Does it?

But please list if possible current precincts, current duty, roster photos and street photos if possible.

HELL YEAH!!! 12.Jul.2003 16:11

Solid Gold

this is the best idea i've seen in a long time. all we need now is a list of their addresses and shift hours. they have all of our addressess, why can't we have theirs?

The current situation is bad, and it's going to get worse 12.Jul.2003 16:56


It's too bad that things are as bad as they are right now. The government, police and much of the public believe that disgracing your country by committing a war crime like we've done in Iraq is somehow patriotic. It seems that any abuse of power, if it will add to control of common people, is supported now.

Chemical weapons are OK. Torture, as in tasers, stun guns, pepper spray, non-lethal (usually) bullets, beating with clubs and fists - it is all permitted now as long is it doesn't actually kill anyone. Well, killing every so often is accepted to, at least in cities like Portland, Oregon. There are too many peaceful people in town you see. So the cops are out there to bust a few heads and teach us the Right attitude.

I would rather we didn't have to have databases like the one described. I consider privacy a right. But the government - police specifically - don't seem to think so. They are, after all, holding all the cards. Turning the tables a bit might let them know how it feels, and perhaps this will give them a conscience.

But the current situation is about to get far worse.

Read what's coming down the pike in the very near future:

Big Brother Gets A Brain

By Noah Shachtman

The cameras are already in place. The computer code is being developed at a dozen or more major companies and universities. And the trial runs have already been planned.

Everything is set for a new Pentagon program to become perhaps the federal government's widest reaching, most invasive mechanism yet for keeping us all under watch. Not in the far-off, dystopian future. But here, and soon.

The military is scheduled to issue contracts for Combat Zones That See, or CTS, as early as September. The first demonstration should take place before next summer, according to a spokesperson. Approach a checkpoint at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, during the test and CTS will spot you. Turn the wheel on this sprawling, 8,656-acre army encampment, and CTS will record your action. Your face and license plate will likely be matched to those on terrorist watch lists. Make a move considered suspicious, and CTS will instantly report you to the authorities.

Fort Belvoir is only the beginning for CTS. Its architects at the Pentagon say it will help protect our troops in cities like Baghdad, where for the past few weeks fleeting attackers have been picking off American fighters in ones and twos. But defense experts believe the surveillance effort has a second, more sinister, purpose: to keep entire cities under an omnipresent, unblinking eye.

This isn't some science fiction nightmare. Far from it. CTS depends on parts you could get, in a pinch, at Kmart.

"There's almost a 100 percent chance that it will work," said Jim Lewis, who heads the Technology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "because it's just connecting things that already exist."

As currently configured, the old-line cameras speckled throughout every major city aren't that much of a privacy concern. Yes, there are lenses everywhere--several thousand just in Manhattan. But they see so much, it's almost impossible for snoops to sift through all the footage and find what's important.

CTS would coordinate the cameras, gathering their views in a single information storehouse. The goal, according to a recent Pentagon presentation to defense contractors, is to "track everything that moves."

"This gives the U.S. government capabilities Big Brother only pretended to have," said John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, a defense think tank. "Before, we said Big Brother's watching. But he really wasn't, because there was too much to watch."

CTS could help soldiers spot dangers as they navigate perilous urban areas, Pentagon researchers insist. That's not how defense analysts like Pike see it. The program "seems to have more to do with domestic surveillance than a foreign battlefield," he said, "and more to do with the Department of Homeland Security than the Department of Defense."

"Right now, this may be a military program," added Lewis. "But when it gets up and running, there's going to be a huge temptation to apply it to policing at home"--to keep tabs on ordinary citizens, whether or not they've done something wrong.

Traditionally, the authorities have collected information only on people who might be connected to a crime. If there was a murder in the East Village, the cops didn't bring in all of St. Mark's Place; they interrogated only the people who might have information about the killer. Even the most extreme abuses of law enforcement power--like J. Edgar Hoover's domestic spying on political activists--homed in on very specific individuals, or groups, that he imagined as threats to the state. He didn't put the whole state under watch.

September 11 changed that. Now, the idea is to find out as much as possible about as many people as possible. After all, the logic goes, the country can't afford to sit back and wait to be attacked. Almost anyone could play a part in a terrorist plot. So the government has to keep tabs on almost everyone.

CTS, a $12 million, three-year program, is emerging as a potential centerpiece of that initiative.

"Before, it was 'let's catch the bad guys and bring them to trial after stuff happens,' " Lewis said. "Now it's 'let's look for patterns and stop [an attack] before it happens.' "

That's why Attorney General John Ashcroft pushed for a program to turn a million civilians into citizen-spies, snooping on their neighbors. That's why the USA Patriot Act now allows for wiretaps without warrants. And it's why the Pentagon has begun researching an array of high-tech tools to pry into average people's lives.

CTS is the brainchild of DARPA, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. That's the group of minds behind the notoriously invasive Total (sorry, "Terrorism") Information Awareness uber-database. TIA's backers say the project will be carefully targeted, but privacy advocates say it could compile in a single place an unprecedented amount of information about you--your school transcripts, medical records, credit card bills, e-mail, and so much more.

"LifeLog," currently in the early planning stage at DARPA, would twist all these bits into narrative "threads," giving officials a chance to watch events develop. Along the way, LifeLog's developers would like to capture the name of every TV show you watch, every magazine you read.

Still, watching your data trail just isn't the same as actually watching your physical tail. You can change your e-mail address, and start paying cash. But you can't run away from yourself. And that's the missing piece CTS could provide--an almost instant ability to track, moment by moment, where you are and what you're doing.

"Before, there was a reasonable expectation of privacy when you were walking down the street," Lewis said. "Now that's something that will have to be adjusted."

That's not all that will change. As everybody who's ever mugged for the camera knows, people act differently when they're being watched.

Sometimes, that's not such a bad thing. Web-surfing habits are monitored on the job, so you wait until you're home to download porn. On the street, you can be a little less skittish, knowing your neighbors, your beat cops, your corner store owners are keeping an eye on you.

But being watched by a faceless, inaccessible government minder, that's something altogether different.

In 1791, the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham proposed a jail, circular in shape. The warden would sit in a dark observation booth in the middle; the prisoners would sit in well-lit, inward-facing cells along the circumference. Under the constant threat of being watched, the jailed would change their behavior, Bentham theorized, bending their activities to the warden's rules.

Two centuries later, England has 2.5 million security cameras spread throughout the country, by some estimates. Several cities, like the port town of King's Lynn, are covered by the lenses.

"It's exactly what Bentham predicted," said Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, a British civil liberties group. "The kids there are giving up going onto the street. They say it's almost like being in a glass-paneled room, with their parents on the other side. They're forced into smaller and smaller areas so they can be kids in private."

Putting people under electronic watch induces a kind of split personality, said Bill Brown, who leads tours of Manhattan's spy cams as part of his duties with the Surveillance Camera Players. The authorities want people to obey the law, to behave rationally. But video surveillance does the exact opposite. It makes people feel--correctly--like they're constantly being watched, like they're paranoid.

"And that's not a rational state at all," Brown said. "It's a mental condition."

Stalin and Saddam did their best. They tried hard to keep under surveillance as many of their citizens as they could. But these efforts could never succeed completely. There was always a "fundamental barrier--the ratio of watchers to the watched," said John Pike of Globalsecurity.org.

"You couldn't have everybody working for the secret police," he continued. "The thing that's so singularly seductive about automatic video surveillance is that it breaks that fundamental barrier down."

CTS will keep watch by equipping each camera with a processor, like the one in your computer. The chips will have programmed into them "video understanding algorithms" that can distinguish one car from another. At each checkpoint, the car's speed, time of arrival, color, size, license plate, and shape are all instantly passed on to a central server. If the early tests identifying cars go well, software that recognizes a person's face and style of walk could also be added.

By sharing only this refined data--instead of the raw video itself--CTS should keep fragile computer networks from becoming overloaded with hours and hours of meaningless footage. Everybody knows how much of a pain it can be to get a video clip in your e-mail inbox, instead of a simple text message. Now imagine how much worse the problem would get if thousands and thousands of such clips were being sent back and forth, all day, every day. CTS would help government networks avoid that burden, with each camera transmitting a mere 8 kilobits per second, instead of the 200 or so kilobits needed for high-resolution video.

CTS would also keep the snoops who stare at the monitors from being overwhelmed. "We have enough cameras, but not enough people to watch the video feeds," said Tom Strat, who's heading up CTS for DARPA's Information Exploitation Office.

If all's well, CTS cameras might send back to headquarters only basic data or the occasional low-resolution image. But when there's something fishy going down--like a car speeding away unexpectedly, or a briefcase left in a train station--the images could come sharper, and more quickly. Proto-CTS programs from contractors Northrop Grumman and the Sarnoff Corporation would interrupt the gray monotony of surveillance footage, setting red boxes aflash around the suspect person or object.

"It focuses your attention right there," said Bruce De Witte of Northrop.

But CTS would do more than change what investigators see. It would also give them a record of everything that happens in a city's public places, potential evidence for prosecutors and terrorist hunters.

In its presentation to industry, DARPA said it wanted CTS to be able to find the common threads between a shooting at a bus stop one month and a bombing at a disco the next.

In theory, CTS could take an inventory of all of the cars around the bus stop and near the disco immediately before and after the incidents. Then it could examine where those cars went, to see if there were any vehicles in common--or if a car acted as a sort of messenger between two others.

The forensic process could be further enhanced by one of DARPA's analysis programs, like LifeLog or Total Information Awareness. After mining license plate numbers from the footage, investigators could identify the car owners. And then dig into the owners' Web-surfing trails, to see if there were any visits to explosive-making sites. And scan e-mail accounts for virulent language. And plumb credit card receipts for big fertilizer purchases.

To the uninitiated, storing and sharing all this information might seem like insurmountably complex tasks. And according to Strat, the CTS manager, the ability to network surveillance cameras over a wide area is "not right around the corner."

Defense and technology analysts have a different view.

"(CTS) is pretty creepy. And the creepiest part about it is that it's not all that sophisticated," said Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the privacy-rights proponent Electronic Frontier Foundation.

DARPA has mandated that the CTS demonstrations be done only with readily available, "off the shelf" equipment--the kind of stuff you could get at Spyville.com. You could find slightly less diesel versions of the gear at Amazon.com.

So getting the cameras will be easy. What may be harder is handing off information--a description of a suspicious vehicle, say--from one camera to the next. These lenses will be separated by hundreds, even thousands, of meters. And "appearances can change dramatically" in those distances, Johns Hopkins University senior research scientist Chris Diehl said. Slight variations in light or in the camera's angle can make a car look very different to a mechanical eye. "If you read the literature, there really isn't a proven method" for solving this problem, he said.

Yet this obstacle seems surmountable. In a CTS simulation conducted by software developer Alphatech, a car could be tracked over 10 kilometers with accuracy of 90 percent or better with cameras placed 400 meters apart. The percentage went up, of course, as the cameras moved closer together.

CTS is but one of an array of private and public sector programs to sort through the ever expanding amount of surveillance imagery. University of California at San Diego's Computer Vision and Robotics Research lab just received a $600,000 grant from a Defense Department counterterror group for a CTS-like project. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, Stephen Brumby is using genetic algorithms--programs that are bred from smaller components of code--to automatically analyze satellite pictures.

At the Sarnoff Corporation, a project dubbed Video Flashlight would morph cameras' views into a single three-dimensional model. Using a joystick, a security officer could maneuver through this simulated world as though playing a game of Half Life or Grand Theft Auto.

In order for Video Flashlight to work, however, it would have to use stationary cameras. CTS doesn't have that limitation; it's supposed to function with drones and other battlefield sensors. That's one of the reasons Globalsecurity.org's John Pike thinks the program could have a legitimate military function--"to the extent that it is relevant to urban operations, as opposed to the running of a well-oiled police state."

Combat in cities "tends to quickly degenerate into small firefights," Pike explained. It's a lot harder to know what's happening in a crowded city than it is in an open desert. Radios cut out quicker; drones and satellites have a harder time peering through the concrete canyons and narrow passageways of urban life. CTS could restore some of that sight, giving U.S. generals a "broader situational awareness."

This assumes, of course, that CTS has anything to do with urban combat. If it does, it'd be a surprise to some of the businesses bidding for the CTS contract.

"The primary application is for homeland security," said Tom Lento, a spokesman for the Sarnoff Corporation.

"The whole theme here is homeland security," added Northrop Grumman's De Witte.

Strat disagreed. "DARPA's mission is not to do homeland security," he said.

In a presentation to industry, DARPA noted, "CTS technology will be demonstrated only within the observable boundaries of government installations where video surveillance is expressly permitted, and operational deployment areas outside the United States where it is consistent with all local laws."

But in an interview, Strat did admit that "there's a chance that some of this technology might work its way" into domestic surveillance programs.

In the test at Fort Belvoir this year the aim is to track 90 percent of all of cars within the target area for any given 30-minute period. The paths of 1 million vehicles should be stored and retrievable within three seconds. A year after that, CTS is supposed to move on to testing in an urban combat setting, where it will gather information from 100 mobile sensors, like drone spy planes and "video ropes" containing dozens of tiny cameras.

Shortly thereafter, CTS could be keeping tabs on a city near you.

"This is coming whether we like it or not," said Jim Lewis, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It's not how do we stop the tidal wave. It's how do we manage it."


Afterthought 12.Jul.2003 21:52


Badge numbers too.

What are you so afraid of? 12.Jul.2003 23:46


Even if the police WERE spying on you, so what? What do you have to hide? If you're doing something that doesn't pass public scrutiny, then maybe you should rethink your behavior or conduct. And this is a spiritual thing. Your spiritual thing.

Self Importance 13.Jul.2003 07:20


Why do you all believe in your self importance so much that you think the police even care who you are or where you live? They don't. The police only enforce the laws that you've passed and then go home. There is no secret society of watchers. They don't give a hoot what you do, but go ahead and think of yourselves as important people or spies for a new order and continue living in your fantasy world. No one cares but you.

JJ = popo 13.Jul.2003 10:42

republic of cascadia citizen

what do we worry about? YOU JJ! enough said...

What does Popo mean? 13.Jul.2003 13:19


What does Popo mean?

I think... 13.Jul.2003 13:29


...that "popo" is a coo-ism for butt.

popo 13.Jul.2003 13:50


popo = portland police officer. It's funny, JJ (or JayJay earlier) ia a cop and reads and posts to the site often, yet, wants us to believe that the police don't care about what people here do or read. Forgive me if I have trouble not laughing at the irony.

Are you High "JJ"? 13.Jul.2003 13:57


"There is no society of watchers...", pull you head out of your ass, what the fuck do you think the LEIU is! Dissedents are monitored, whats worse is that people like you have the gall to think that our government is so righteuos and nobel that they wouldn't use they devices and systems long in place, to keep track of those who who make there dissent know. All governments that have ever had the capacity to monitor it's citizens, has. And it's not hysteria, with the passing of the patriot act you phone can be tapped and your house can be searched, both now without warrants, they can even go to your library and see what books you've been checking out now, and ther library is legally obligated NOT to tell you. We fast approching 1984, the initial post was right, we need to watch the watchers and be wary of assholes like JJ who simply choose to ignore the signs of oppression.


OK JJ 13.Jul.2003 14:34


JJ, i just pulled this comment of yours from another article on the newswire:

"We are fighting you 13.Jul.2003 07:38



Go ahead and have your meeting and enjoy each other. But remember for every one of you there are thousands of us fighting you with every breath we take. Your beliefs are rotten to the core and have no place in a democratic society. You will spend eternity in hell unless you see the error of your ways. "

So um, you're fighting us with every breath you take, but without watching us or knowing who we are? pull your head out of your ass. You have to be the dumbest cop i have ever met.

C'mon guys 13.Jul.2003 23:01


I think JJ is right. Nobody is watching you or surveilling you. Why would they? And if somebody wants to see what books I check out from the library, or what I look at on the Internet, heck, go ahead. I have nothing to hide.

If JJ is a cop, you must realize that he is also a private citizen. He doesn't come here under the auspices of the police department.

If so.... 13.Jul.2003 23:47


then why have my friends homes been raided for no reason? why do cops follow people who look like "activists"? how do you explain cops showing up and shutting down our actions before the activists themselves get there? Why have prominant activists had their computers and other sensitive equipment seized? How can you explain all this, if we are not living in a police state? Can you answer officer JJ, or his lackey snaggle?
I'm not stating these things from the point of view of the ill-informed. Members of my immediate family have been and still are high-ranking police officers. I've seen first hand, from both sides, what a police state we are living in.


snaggle is forgiven 14.Jul.2003 00:10

long time reader

He's new to the site, so for others that are new I'd just like to point out that the portland police have already mentioned many times that they monitor this site because when people post information about upcoming events and actions the police want to know about it. As for cops being private citizens, I know a lot of cops, all of them take their work home in one form or another. The police are a closed social network, a fraternity, so the job of policing is very much the core of their lives. But I have a feeling if indymedia tracked jayjay's posts they would find it coming from a city ip address, not a private one. And let's not forget that this country has a long proud tradition of keeping files on activists; since they have never gotten into trouble for it, why would anyone think that they have stopped?

Start with Scott McCollister 14.Jul.2003 11:48


somebody should start with Scott McCollister. The community has a right to protect themselves from this dangerous criminal.

You know 14.Jul.2003 12:07


We need some pictures of Scott McCollister. Anyone have some?

It's a safety thing, so the community can recognize the guy who's training and reflex reaction to not obeying his orders is to pull his gun and kill you.

Officers Armed? 14.Jul.2003 14:56


It seems (from reading the local papers) that Portland officers don't receive a great deal of training - the comparison to hairdressers has been made. And I would guess until an officer has been on patrol for a while, most of their training has little or insufficient relevance. Yet they are issued handguns, and I expect most carry their guns during off duty hours as well.

It's important for citizens, living within this situation, have access to recognizable photos of officers in the community. It's just a matter of public safety.

No doubt 14.Jul.2003 15:03


No doubt the police monitor this site. (In fact, how I started coming here was I stumbled on to the URL for this site [I think through an article in WW] and realized that I could look here to determine if it was "safe" to go downtown that particular day!) But I still think JJ comes here as private citizen. The PPB might look here, but I doubt they would post anything!

Who's this McCollister dude? I've heard that name before. If he's a bad cop, he needs to go. But one bad cop doesn't make ALL cops bad, does it?

Wait! One more thing... 14.Jul.2003 15:06


If JJ's IP is a City addy, then he shouldn't be posting here, right?

Also, what country DOESN'T keep files on it's "activists?"

plenty of police have posted here 14.Jul.2003 16:50


Check out this thread with 2 cops (2nd one 2/3 of the way down) giving their views:  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/07/267384.shtml It's hardly uncommon, especially during actions. I know most of the posts were quickly hidden hidden but sacramento police were posting heavily during the days of the sacramento ministerial.

For anyone that doesn't who who Scott McCollister is, he's the man who murdered Kendra James. There's plenty of info elsewhere on the site about him ( http://portland.indymedia.org/portland/servlet/OpenMir?do=search&search_content=mccollister&search_sort=date_desc).

Although one bad cop doesn't mean all cops are bad that question completely misses the issue. I know a lot of good cops, and what they've told me is that the system, the institution that is a police force, protects and rewards cops that are abusive, disregard the law, liars, bullies, thugs, endanger the lives of citizens or other officers, etc. And one does not have to look any farther than the portland police to see this. I mean, rewards for shooting a person with mental problems, no punishment or accountability for gross disregards for procedures leading to the death of a citizen, pressure on good cops to keep silent about all of this. But, again, I'm not a cop so read the comments of Damon Woodcock in the post above to understand what I've been hearing for years.

question 15.Jul.2003 09:42

not causing problems

dont you think that would be unsafe for police?

Good idea for website 15.Jul.2003 12:28

Dave editor@portlandpolice.net

I think it would be a really good idea if the public had access to a website that displayed police officer information such as a photograph, name and BPSST number, which precinct they were attached to and who their supervisors were. I'd be up for doing something like that. I would not however, be in favor of posting personal information about them such as home address or phone numbers. That would be a safey issue, but the other information would not be.

Now, I'd limit the database to only uniformed officers and admin personnel. I would not include undercover officers or anything like that which could put the officer in jeapordy.

I'll think about it......