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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

Career Path Opportunities

Throughout their career each Community Police Officer will have an array of career paths to consider. While the highly rewarding and exciting role as a Patrol Officer is where everyone begins, at some point most officers will hold positions in addition to patrol, transfer to other units, or promote.

There are over 20 types of positions available to officers and more than a dozen specialty investigations areas for detectives.


Assignments available at different ranks:


"Detached" positions are added roles held by members while they are permanently assigned to another unit. For example, an officer can continue regular duties as a precinct Patrol Officer while also being a part of the Rapid Response Team or while being an instructor with the Training Division in any number of fields: defensive tactics, law, firearms, patrol vehicle operations, etc.

"Transfer" positionsare obtained through a competitive application and interview process in which an officer will move to a new permanent assignment outside the duties of precinct patrol officer.

"Promotional" positions are obtained through a competitive testing, interview, and assessment center process and include an increase in salary. From officer there are three promotional paths: Criminalist, Detective, or Sergeant. 

Under current standards 4.5 years of service (at least 3 of which must have been as a sworn member of PPB) are needed prior transfering or promoting. If a member wishes further promotion, they would elect to enter the supervisory track whihc begins at the rank of Sergeant and continues to Lieutenant to Captain. The Police Chief then appoints members to the level of Commander and Assistant Chief from those in the ranks of Captain and above.

Portland’s elected Mayor/Police Commissioner appoints the Chief of Police.


Community Police Officer



Air Support

Background Investigator in Personnel Division

Behavioral Health Unit – Mobile Crisis Units/Service Coordination Team

Cadet and Reserves Program Coordinator

Canine Unit

Crisis Response Team

Drugs & Vice Division

Domestic Violence Reduction Unit

Explosive Devices Unit

Fraud / Property Crimes Officers

Gang Enforcement Team

Mounted Patrol Unit

Neighborhood Response Teams

New Columbia Liaison Officers

Officer Support Unit

Patrol Officer

Rapid Response Team

Recruitment Coordinator

Runaway Juvenile Unit

School Resource Officers

Sex Offender Registration Detail (S.O.R.D.)

Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) / hostage Negotiations Team (HNT)

Street Crimes Unit

Strategic Services Division

Sunshine Division

Traffic Division – Motorcycles/Major Crash Investigation Team

Training Division Instructor

TriMet Transit Police Division

Vulnerable Adult and Elder Crimes Unit

 Criminal Intelligence Unit



 Police Criminalist



Forensic Evidence Division





Police Detective



Arson Investigator

Assaults/Bias Crimes

Burglary Task Force/Property Crimes

Child Abuse Team

Cold Case Homicide Unit

Computer Crimes Unit

District Attorney’s Investigator

Forensic Artist

Homicide Detail

Human Trafficking Unit

Missing Persons Unit

Polygraph Examiner

Robbery Detail

Sex Crimes Unit

White Collar Crimes Unit (Fraud)


Additional Service as a sworn member of PPB



G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance and Education Training)

WomenStrength Program

GirlStrength Program

Police Bureau Youth Summer Camp

Equity Leadership Council

Safety Zone: Cops Talk

Slavic Advisory Council liaison

Highland Guard

Honor Guard

Community and Police Relations Committee

African American Advisory Council liaison

Developmental disabilities Advisory Committee liaison

Sexual Minority Roundtable liaison