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Aug 29, 5:43 PM EDT

Judge OKs Portland police use-of-force reforms



PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A federal judge has accepted the settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Portland on reforms intended to improve the way police deal with the mentally ill.

U.S. District Court Michael Simon said Friday he wants annual progress reports, and set the first such hearing for September 2015.

The Justice Department began an investigation three years ago to examine whether Portland police engaged in a "pattern or practice" of excessive force when dealing with the mentally ill. Agency officials concluded such a pattern exists, and began negotiating with city leaders on reforms.

Among the reforms, the city must create a crisis-intervention team, expand its mobile crisis units from a single vehicle to one vehicle per precinct and complete investigations of officer misconduct within 180 days.

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