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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding the hiring process and working as a Portland Community Police Officer are addressed below. Please visit the City of Portland's home page for general information about life in Portland including: schools, parks, recreation, arts and culture, transportation and tourism.

 

Answers to commonly asked questions.

CAREER QUESTIONS

What are the working conditions at PPB?

I only want to be a Detective or Crime Scene Investigator. Do I have to be a Patrol Officer first?

What are the wages/benefits?

What internal career development opportunities exist?



PRE-APPLICATION / REQUIREMENTS
How can I better prepare to become a police officer?

How can I be notified of an upcoming recruitment?

How often do you test?

How many positions are available?

Do you prefer Lateral officers or those with military experience?

Do you give Veteran's Preference Points?

Am I disqualified because of my tattoos?

I'm now in college or the military - when should  I apply?

Is there a residency requirement?

 

APPLICATION
How and when do I apply to take the first written test?


TRAINING
What is the probationary period?
Will I be paid during the Academy and how long is the training?
I'm a P.O.S.T. Graduate. Am I required to go to the Academy?
Do I have to buy my equipment?


PHYSICAL/MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS

What if I'm color blind?

What if I have other medical or physical concerns about meeting requirements?

How can I prepare for the Physical Ability Test?

 

RIDE ALONG

How do I schedule a ride along?

WHO CAN I TALK TO IF I HAVE QUESTIONS THAT ARE NOT COVERED IN THE WEBSITES MENTIONED?

We have a staff of recruiters and background investigators that can answer questions. If you can not find the answers online follow this link for additional contact information.




 

CAREER QUESTIONS

 

What are the working conditions at PPB?

Officers work a 40-hour week - four shifts of 10 hours each with a set three-day weekend. Seniority determines shift, days off and vacation.

Once off of probation, shifts and weekends are not rotated. However, during probation, new officers' days off, shifts and assignments rotate.

Most officers serve a minimum of five years on uniform patrol before applying for a specialty unit or promotion. Specialty unit assignments are available on a competitive basis after probation. See the Career Path Opportunities page for more details.

Off-duty officers may on rare occasions be called in for duty for a city emergency (i.e. large riot, large emergency or disaster situation, etc.).

 

I only want to be a Detective or Crime Scene Investigator. Do I have to be a Patrol Officer first?

Higher-level positions in the Portland Police Bureau have competitive promotional examinations. Under current standards, after 4.5 years of service (at least 3 of which must have been as a sworn member of PPB), officers are eligible to compete for a promotional exam to become a Sergeant, Detective or Criminalist.  See the Career Path Opportunities page for more details.

 

What are the wages/benefits?

Please find Wages and benefits under both Entry and Lateral pages of this website.

 

 

What internal career development opportunities exist?

Review our Career Path Opportunities to show the types of positions that are available to officers. 


 

PRE-APPLICATION

How can I better prepare to become a police officer?

  • Talk to a police officer to understand the realities of the job. Ask questions!
  • Participate in a Ride Along.
  • Seek out leadership opportunities that will enable you to improve decision-making skills.
  • Involve yourself in serving not only your personal communities, but also serve other diverse communities.
  • Gain knowledge and experience with cultures that are different from your own.  (See Qualities of Successful Applicants section for details.)
  • Attend a preparatory workshop(s) about work environment, hiring process and the physical ability test. (See Hiring Process section for details.) 

 

 

How can I be notified of an upcoming recruitment?

Please fill out an Online Recruiter Contact Form. You can also log onto our Facebook site for updates.



 

How often do you test?

We try to schedule 2-3 tests per year; however, recent budget issues have resulted in less frequent testing. We will post updates on our website and on Facebook as they become available.



 

How many positions are available?

The number of vacancies varies depending on promotions, separations, and budget. 




 

Do you prefer Lateral officers, particular college degrees  or those with military experience?

The Portland Police Bureau has no preference on hiring those with previous military or law enforcement experience. We understand that each applicant brings his or her own unique abilities to the career.

We are also often asked if criminal justice degrees are a prerequisite. The answer is no. Any course of study will benefit you in the long-term at the Police Bureau.



 

Do you give Veteran's Preference Points?

Yes. Submit your completed Veteran's Preference Form with the required documentation on the date of the online job application unless instructed otherwise. You can also deliver the information in person or mail your documentation to the address listed below.

Portland Bureau of Human Resources
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 404
Portland, Oregon 97204




 

Am I disqualified because of my tattoos?

It depends.

"At time of appointment, members will not expose any offensive forms of body art while on duty, including when wearing a short-sleeved uniform shirt. Offensive forms of Body Art include images which are sexually explicit, racially and or sexually biased or could be viewed as discriminatory. Visible Body Art on the face and neck are prohibited except for reasonable cosmetic purposes. Tattoos cannot be above the collar-bone or below the wrists. Body Art is defined as procedures used to alter the body's appearance including, but not limited to branding, scarifications and tattoos."

 

If there are specific questions about your tattoo, send us a digital photo and we will let you know whether you are disqualified.



 

I'm in college or the military - when should I apply?

An applicant should keep in mind that he or she must attend a scheduled Written Examination, Physical Abilities Test (PAT) and Oral Interview.  If the applicant is scheduled for the background investigation, it can take an additional 2-6 months, depending on responses from reference checks. Consider registering for an open recruitment test 4 - 6 months before your release/graduation.

Generally, out-of-town applicants will need to make two separate trips to Portland when participating in a local test. (One trip if taking an out-of-state test.) See the Out-of-State Applicants section for details.


 

Is there a residency requirement?

No. You are not required to live in Portland or the Oregon. However, there is value to living in the community and having ties that will help you serve the residents better.



 




APPLICATION

How and when do I apply to take the initial written test?

Please visit the Hiring Process or Apply Now sections for detailed step-by-step instructions.




TRAINING



What is the probationary period?

All officers have an 18-month probation, where they work under the supervision of a coach who teaches the fundamentals of police work. Entry-level officers shall attend a 16-week State Basic Academy after being hired and also Portland's Advanced Academy. Lateral officers, who meet Oregon certification criteria, will attend a two week Career Officer Development class and the Advanced Academy. The Advanced Academy is taught by the Portland Police Bureau at our Training Facility.



 

Will I be paid during the Academy and how long is the training?

Yes, new officers are paid an entry level officer wage from the date of hire. Oregon's Basic Police Academy is located in Salem, Oregon and is 16-weeks in length (400 hours). You are given a dorm room but are not required to stay there during the week or weekends. However, study time is at a premium and it is suggested new officers use their off duty time wisely. Following successful completion of Basic Academy recruits will work patrol with their Field Training officer for about 2 months before attending Portland's local Advanced Academy that is 12 weeks in length.  Every officer, regardless of prior experience, is required to attend the Advanced Academy.



 

I'm a POST Graduate. Am I required to go to the Basic Academy?

California P.O.S.T. Graduates are eligible for a 16-week Basic Training Waiver pending determination. For other states, each waiver is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Once waived, the applicant would still need to take the local two-week Career Officer Development class prior to beginning their field-training and probationary period. Every officer, regardless of previous experience, is also required to attend Portland's Advanced Academy.



 

Do I have to buy my own equipment?

No. The City provides uniforms, weapon, handcuffs, flashlight, duty belt, body armor, helmets, etc., and $90 a yr. equipment allowance; $390 for plain clothes.




 


PHYSICAL / MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS

 

What if I'm color blind?

Color vision should be perfect. Nevertheless, red or green deficiencies will need to pass the Ishihara (24-plate edition) with 9 of the 13 plates required. Applicants who fail the Ishihara test can meet the color vision standard by demonstrating that they can correctly identify colors via a field test conducted by the employer and approved by DPSST.

 

What if I have other medical or physical concerns about meeting requirements?

State of Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training establishes most physical requirements for hire. If you have questions about eyesight, hearing, or other medical issues please review the F-2 Form. Take it with you to visit your personal physician, they should in most cases be able to answer your questions about if you meet the medical requirements.

 

 

How can I prepare for the Physical Ability Test?

Please visit the Hiring Process section to learn specifics about the Physical Abilities Test and how to prepare.
 

 

Ride-Along Request


Please print the below form and return it (fax or mail) to the precinct of your choice. Make sure to include a specific date allowing at least three weeks for an officer to be scheduled for your Ride Along.  Also include the specific shift you would like to experience: Morning 7am - 5pm, Afternoon 4pm - 2am, Night 10pm - 8am.  You are not required to stay for the entire shift but we do ask that you are able to dedicate at lest 5 - 6 hours of your time.

Ride-Along Request Form [PDF]

 

Central

East

North

Central Precinct

1111 SW 2nd Ave.

Portland, OR 97204

Phone: 503-823-0097

Fax: 503-823-0096

East Precinct

737 SE 106th Ave

Portland, OR 97216

Phone: 503-823-4800

Fax: 503-823-4801

North Precinct

449 NE Emerson St.

Portland, OR 97211

Phone: 503-823-5700

Fax: 503-823-5840

 


 

WHO CAN I TALK TO IF I HAVE QUESTIONS THAT ARE NOT COVERED IN THE WEBSITES MENTIONED?

We have a staff of recruiters and background investigators that can answer questions. If you can not find the answers online follow this link for additional contact information.