October 28th, 2013 | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: City Hall, Cops and Courts, PDX News, Politics

Charlie Hales Hires Nine-Year Portland Police Veteran to Be His Cops Policy Advisor

Deanna Wesson-Mitchell will replace Baruti Artharee

policecarPortland Police car - Aaron Mesh

Mayor Charlie Hales announced that nine-year Portland Police veteran Deanna Wesson-Mitchell will serve as his new policy adviser for the bureau.

Wesson-Mitchell, 38, is a sworn officer, a departure from Hales' prior policy director, Baruti Artharee. He resigned Oct. 17, citing a difficult divorce and personal matters. Artharee was also suspended for one week after he made inappropriate comments earlier this year toward Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith.

She's set to start Nov. 18 and will earn $82,450 a year. 

In a release, the mayor's office says Wesson-Mitchell was born and raised in Portland and graduated from Jefferson High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She lives in Lents with her husband, JaMarr Mitchell, and their sons.

“She is of, and from, the community," Hales says in the release. “She is of, and from, the bureau. She is focused on the goal of making this the best urban police department in the country. She’s exactly who we need right now.”

The release also included comments of praise from Police Chief Mike Reese and Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner.

“I am very excited to continue the equity work began in the police bureau two and a half years ago,” Wesson-Mitchell said in the release. “We have made forward progress and, with support of the Mayor’s office, will continue to build capacity and specific skills, which promote equity in both service to Portland’s diverse communities and internal operations.”

Here's some more on her background:

Wesson-Mitchell joined the PPB in 2004 and served as a patrol officer until 2008, and was an investigative officer from 2008 to 2011 and recruitment coordinator for the Personnel Division. She also has been a Gang Resistance Education and Training instructor, and has been involved with the Making Positive Choices Youth Forum; Racial Profiling Committee; Citywide Diversity Committee; Police Equity: Leadership Council; and Community and Police Relations Committee.

Wesson-Mitchell is Hales' second recent hire. Earlier in October, he announced that State Sen. Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland) will leave the Legislature and will join his staff as a senior policy director.

 
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