Eugene Police Auditor Mark Gissiner announced his retirement to City Council on December 14, 2020, effective February 2021, after filling the position since 2009. During his tenure Gissiner worked collaboratively with the Eugene Police Department (EPD) to put systems in place that better track complaints, uses of force and early intervention incidents. His work as the Police Auditor helped ensure that EPD officers meet a high level of performance expectations through a vigorous oversight system. Gissiner notes that his retirement will allow him time to focus on family, health and longevity.
“One of my primary motivations for coming here was the strength of the charter and ordinances that support this office and the civilian review board,” Gissiner said. “Few places in the nation have a structure this comprehensive and independent of the executive branch of the City government.” Gissiner also noted the cooperation from all City offices and administration to work together to improve public safety methods and increase community trust.
Gissiner worked with the Eugene Police Commission and EPD on policies related to use of Tasers and body worn cameras. Eugene’s police department was one of the first in the state and region to obtain body worn cameras, which have proved to be invaluable to work through complaints and other incidents. All officers are now equipped with body worn cameras. Under Gissiner’s leadership and in coordination with the Office of Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement, Eugene has created a model for working with the State to better track complaints and conduct investigations of bias-based policing practices.
Gissiner leaves the Police Auditor’s Office as a model for other cities. “With the current national narrative on creating or enhancing oversight systems, Eugene’s model is seen as an excellent model for duplication or a hybrid. Cities such as Madison, Nashville, Boulder and others are now creating hybrid auditor systems with civilian review boards that are modeled after Eugene.”
The Police Auditor is hired by and accountable to the city council.