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The City of Portland, Oregon

Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

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

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0612.00 Radio Use

*This directive is currently under review*

612.00   RADIO USE 


  • ORS 820.300  Emergency Operation of Emergency Vehicle
  • DIR 630.10  Driving Responses
  • DIR 741.00  Chemical and Biological Agents/Weapons
  • DIR 763.00  Operational Condition (OPCON)
  • DIR 1225.00  Communication Technology
  • Interagency Pursuit Agreement
  • Radio Call Numbers (SSD)
  • Radio Templates  (SSD) 

PROCEDURE (612.00) Call Priorities

a.  Priority E Calls (Emergency): In Progress incidents which are life threatening.

b.   Priority 1 Calls (Urgent): In Progress incidents when a life may be in immediate danger.

c.  Priority 2 Calls (Immediate): In Progress incidents where there is the potential for physical injury or involves a major property crime.

d.  Priority 3 Calls (Expedite): Incidents which may include crimes in progress but does not involve an immediate danger to persons or property.

e.  Priority 4 Calls (Routine): All other incidents.

f.   Priority 5 Calls (Delayed): Situations when the caller cannot immediately meet with the member. When the caller does become available, calls are reassigned the proper priority code. 

Response Goals (612.00)

a.  Bureau of Emergency Communication (BOEC) Responsibilities:

1.  Set and meet goals regarding the time from call receipt to dispatch of Priority E, 1 and 2 calls.

2.  Dispatch Priority E, 1 and 2 calls immediately.

3.  Notify a PPB supervisor when priority 3 calls are holding longer than 30 minutes and priority 4 calls holding longer than 1 hour.

b.  Member Responsibilities:

1.  Always subject to Priority E, 1 and 2 calls.

2.  If possible, self-dispatch on priority 3 calls within 30 minutes and priority 4 calls within 1 hour.

3.  Respond to calls in a manner that provides the best possible service to the community and reflects response goals.

c.  Supervisor Responsibilities:

1.  Monitor their precinct call load to ensure response goals are met.

2.  When unable to monitor pending calls, he/she will notify BOEC so the dispatcher can ensure the response goals are met.

3.  If response goals cannot be met, request assistance from a supervisor from another precinct.

d.  Operations Branch Chief’s Responsibilities:

1.  Set and manage response goals for Priority 3 and 4 calls.

2.  Periodically review and adjust response goals, as appropriate. 

Mobile Data Computer (MDC) and Computer Assisted Dispatch System (CAD) (612.00)

Members will comply with all laws and regulations regarding computer systems. The MDC/CAD is for official use only and any system or e-mail messages that contain sexual, racial, degrading or suggestive remarks are prohibited. Personal messages may be sent, but they must conform to standards. Limited personal messages may be sent provided these are incidental, of short duration and conform to standards. All messages and e-mail in the CAD are subject to review and privacy should not be expected. Members will not use unauthorized software or RAM cards in the MDC.

Members will not release information from computer data bases to the public. Requests for information of this nature should be directed to the Records Division (Records). Radio call information requests, which cannot be answered by accessing CAD, should be directed to BOEC. 

Radio Use (612.00)

Police operations (dispatch) talkgroups are used for routine communications between BOEC and units. They will not be used for car-to-car communications unless during an emergency. No car-to-car, car-to-office or pursuit transmissions are permitted on the service net.

Police tactical talkgroups are used for the coordination of a single event where remaining on an operational talkgroup is disruptive or unsafe. TAC I is available as a back-up to the main dispatch net. A dispatcher will use this talkgroup when the dispatch talkgroup is not functioning or if non-emergency traffic is restricted on that talkgroup. TAC II is for units to coordinate responses to on-going incidents. TAC III is for tactical & undercover missions. Other tactical talkgroups are controlled by the division/unit to which the net is assigned.

Administrative talkgroups are used for communications from car to car or units to their offices. Division/units with an assigned administrative talkgroup will always monitor this talkgroup in addition to their operational talkgroup.

Requests for BOEC dispatcher support on non-operational talkgroups should be made as far in advance as possible. Copies of applicable operation orders should be forwarded to BOEC in advance. When the need for additional support is immediate, the request may be made verbally by a supervisor to a BOEC supervisor.

For further details refer to the PPB Radio Template on the Intranet.

NE DP – no longer used for auto records. May be used as an additional dispatch channel as needed as well as for special events (Rose Festival, VIP visits, demonstrations).

OSP 9 – a cross patch to OSP radio channel 9 which is the metro area OSP channel. When broadcasting, inform the OSP dispatcher that you are on “9.”

ODOT – dispatches COMET response vehicles. Officer may talk directly with COMET trucks.

COMM 1 and 2 – used for law enforcement communications within Multnomah County.

MU Law 1 and 2 (renamed from Law 1 and 2) – region wide law enforcement channel. Clackamas and Washington counties also have a Law 1 and 2 which are WA Law 1, 2 and CC Law 1.

PPB auto records – auto records will monitor this channel.

US Marsh – tactical channel for US Marshals service, no dispatcher.

OHSU SEC – dispatcher for OHSU security 24/7.

A, B and C channels – used by all 800 radio users for large events.  Metro A, B and C are renamed MULT A, B and C.  Clark County and Washington County also have A, B and C.

Stanton – 24 hour dispatch for Portland Bureau of Maintenance.

Water – 24 hour dispatch for Portland Water Bureau.

USCG – 24 hour dispatch for USCG Station, Portland.

Zone G contains national and state talk groups that function separately from the Portland radio systems. “I” channels are national channels. “ICALL” is monitored by BOEC. OROPS 1-5 are for use by the State of Oregon agencies and use repeaters in the Metro area.  Channels 2 and 5 are generally used by law enforcement. WAOPS are used in the State of Washington and are not repeated in the Portland-Vancouver region.  These channels can also be used in a simplex mode when the user turns off the repeated function in the pack set or car radio.

Zone H is an emergency use zone in case of a catastrophic failure of the Portland radio towers.  Officers will be directed to specific channels that use radio towers from either Vancouver, Washington County or Clackamas County.

Eagle 2 – used for car-to-car between Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Vancouver Police Department.

WA SNET – serves as the Service Net for Washington County during peak usage. During early morning hours, it is the combined dispatch for South Cities dispatch and Hillsboro dispatch.

OSP-12 – the cross patch for OSP patrols in the Gorge area of Multnomah County. When broadcasting, advise the OSP dispatcher you are on “12.”

WA Buxon and Roundtop – are additional repeaters of WA SO1 used to extend range further into western Washington County.

a.  Member Responsibilities:

1.  When receiving transmissions, respond with his/her unit number and location and, if necessary, repeat received information to verify accuracy.

2.  Transmit messages by announcing his/her unit number, await acknowledgement and state the message.

3.  Transmit emergency messages by stating his/her unit number and Emergency. All other units will cease transmissions until the emergency transmission is completed.

4.  Switch to the appropriate talk group when dispatched to another precinct/agency. When communicating on another agency’s talk group, preface his/her unit number with our agency name, (i.e., Portland Police 850).

5.  Request phone calls be made by his/her precinct/office on an administrative net or on Private Call. Members will not request the Service net to make telephone calls.

b.  Supervisor Responsibilities:

1.  Ensure members comply with appropriate radio use.

2.  Extraordinary requests for BOEC support on non-operational talk groups should be made in writing, though channels. Copies of Operation Orders should be forwarded to BOEC in advance. When the need for such support is immediate, the request may be made verbally to a BOEC supervisor. 

BOEC Record Policy and Information Requests (612.00)

BOEC does not directly release any information to the media. All release of BOEC information is done through the user agency responsible for the response.

a.  Radio Recordings: BOEC retains all voice recordings for 30 months. Requests for recordings should be routed through a supervisor, to BOEC. Recording requests should identify specific information needed, (i.e., East Talkgroup pursuit through 10-61 or incoming call only. If a member feels that the Master Voice Logging recording needs to be retained longer than 30 months, they must contact BOEC for directions on placing a hold on the master recording. Recordings are generally copied and returned within 10 days of request. Priority is given to recordings required by the courts or those used in ongoing investigations.

b.  CAD Data: Available to each user through the CAD terminals in patrol vehicles, precincts, and various other divisions. The CAD maintains on-line Unit Histories for one month and Incident Histories for seven months. BOEC maintains some limited CAD data in off-line files, which can be retrieved by forwarding a written request, through channels, to the Director of BOEC. 

Radio Call Numbers (612.00)

RU managers may assign numbers, including unassigned numbers, within their designated block of numbers. However, all changes and/or modifications must be forwarded to the Strategic Services Division (SSD). Those number blocks identified as Reserved cannot be assigned without Strategic Services’ approval. 

Status Codes (612.00)

Members will use the following codes in transmissions, rather than clear voice:









Beginning shift



Can suspect over hear this



Stolen   Vehicle



Prisoner in Custody



Transporting Prisoner



Transporting Citizen



Prisoner/Citizen Transport Complete



Warrant Service



Detail   Assignment from Supervisor






Servicing Equipment



Stake Out (Code 5)



Checking Person



Coffee   Break



Meal Break



Writing Reports



Checking Vehicle/Traffic   Stop



Inspect Premises/Security Check



Walk and Talk (Conditionally Available)



Bike Patrol (Conditionally Available)



Monitoring the radio but not the MDC




 Radio Disposition Codes (612.00)

The primary unit assigned to a call will assign a disposition code when clearing. The disposition code W8 should only be used by the primary unit. Cover units should clear by typing and sending C on the MDC, or by voice with the dispatcher. 

Members will use the following letter/number code in all dispositions:


R1           Report Written – Original

R2           Report Written – Supplemental/Follow-up

R3           Report Written – Non-numbered – Non-connect

S1           Cannot Locate Person

S2           No Such Address

S3           Reported Condition does not exist

T1            Premises Checked - False Alarm

T2            Premises Checked - Found Secure

T3            Premises Checked - Made Secure

T4            Alarm cancelled

W1          Assignment Completed

W2          Person Assisted

W3          Person Advised/Referred

W4          Hazard Corrected/Removed

W5          Delivered Person, Message, Package

W6          Peace Restored

W7          Nuisance Abated

W8          Arrest Investigation Made by Other Agency

X1            Person Checked OK

X2            Vehicle Checked OK

Y1           FCR Completed

Y2           Warning Given

Y3           Citation/Tag issued

Z1           Misc. Disposition – BOEC only 

Sensitive Incident Codes (612.00)

Members discussing sensitive incidents will use the following codes:


33B         Bomb Threat

33INV      Chemical Release Investigation

33CTH     Chemical Release – Threat

33C         Chemical Release

55A         Death; homicide

55K         Death; all other

27A         Hold-up alarm (silent)

27B         Intrusion/Burglar alarm (silent)

39A         Rape

39B         Other Sexual Assault 

Special Files (612.00)

The CAD has the capability of creating and maintaining special files to provide information to members as incidents arise. Each special file has its own characteristics as outlined below:

a.  Special Interest File: Contains information that is operationally useful, is not already flagged in PPDS and does not involve probable cause to arrest. Information is automatically purged in 72 hours, unless another expiration date is entered. Entries could include: safety concerns, information which could help solve a crime and other timely information. Members are responsible for deleting information, which is no longer useful.

b.  Vehicle/Suspect File: A file with probable cause information relative to vehicles and suspects. This file has an automatic 72-hour purge factor. Entries require supervisor approval.

1.  Member responsibilities when using the vehicle/suspect file.

a)  Write a report prior to making the entry (a suspect alert report will suffice).

b)  Delete information which is no longer useful.

2.  Supervisor  Responsibility: Approve  entry  and  enter  Bureau  I.D. number in the Reason for Contact field.

c.  Premise Information File: A file with information relative to a specific address as it relates to officer safety, enhanced or altered response or other information.

1.  Permanent entries can only be added by a BOEC supervisor.

a)  Member Responsibility: Requests entry in writing on an interoffice memo and gain approval by a Bureau supervisor.

b)  Supervisor Responsibility: Review and forward approved requests to BOEC before the end of the shift.

2.  Temporary entries (1 –7 days) may be made verbally to the BOEC dispatcher or entered via MDC. Information entered in this fashion will automatically purge after seven days. 

Telephone Report Unit (TRU) (612.00)

During TRU operation hours, referring a call to TRU should be coordinated through the dispatcher. 

Emergency Procedures for BOEC (612.00)

If communications are disabled due to equipment failure or an incident, which causes BOEC to be evacuated, the following will be in effect and will remain in effect until BOEC is able to correct the problem, return to their building or until Bureau supervisors are informed by a BOEC supervisor that alternate procedures should be followed. In the event of a partial radio system failure in which some but not all the primary talkgroups are inoperable, members will move to an operable primary talkgroup, check in, and wait for instructions.

a.  Member Responsibilities:

1.  Ascertain whether the problem is with the radio or the system.

2.  If the problem is a system problem:

a)  Break contact with the public as soon as possible.

b)  Go to the nearest precinct or firehouse and contact his/her supervisor or desk clerk.

c)  Remain at or return to standby location as directed.

b.  Supervisor Responsibilities:

1.  Ascertain the nature of the malfunction from BOEC.

2.  Initiate command notifications.

3.  Order units to disengage from public contact, if possible, and limit discretionary traffic stops.

4.  Instruct units to standby at the nearest precinct or fire station.

5.  Conduct a roll call as soon as possible and locate missing units.

6.  Dispatch units on Priority E, 1 and 2 calls only with at least one cover unit, unless the primary unit is a two member unit.

7.  Dispatch at least four units on Code 0 calls.

8.  Instruct units to return to standby location after their call. 

Basic BOEC Responsibilities (612.00)

a.  Process and prioritize incoming calls.

b.  Dispatch calls in accordance with the Unit Assignment Table.

c.  Dispatch Priority E, 1 and 2 calls to the district unit and if the unit is not available, any unit in the precinct within a reasonable proximity to the incident will be assigned the call. In the event those units are unavailable, the closest unit, regardless of precinct assignment, will be assigned the incident.

d.  Dispatch according to the following minimum response guidelines (members may cancel additional units upon arrival):

1.  Priority E Calls: Two members will be dispatched.

2.  Priority 1 and 2 Calls: Two members will be dispatched.

3.  Priority 3 and 4 Calls: One member will be dispatched.

4.  Code 0 Calls: Four units will be dispatched.

5.  Cover Requests: One member will be dispatched when the requesting  member has not designated how many units are needed.

6.  Emergency  Status Activation: Two  members  will  be  dispatched. BOEC will attempt to verify the emergency and the location as units respond.

e.  Refer calls to other appropriate members, (i.e., TRU, desk clerks, I&R, etc.).

f.   Voice dispatch calls to units not having a MDC, (i.e., traffic units, bicycle patrols and mounted patrols).

g.  Rebroadcast on all operational talkgroups information relative to urgent incidents. Incident information occurring in an adjacent precinct/agency, which could create an officer safety situation, will also be broadcast on the adjacent precinct/agency’s talkgroup. Urgent incidents are situations where any of the following occurs:

1.  Officer in trouble.

2.  Armed robbery in progress or just occurred.

3.  Shooting just occurred.

4.  Silent hold-up alarm, during business hours.

5.  Pursuit (Bureau or any agency entering Portland’s jurisdiction).

6.  Sniper or hostage situation.

7.  In progress felonies or serious misdemeanors where an immediate police response will assist in the suspect’s apprehension, or prevent loss of life, physical injury or major property damage.

h.  Provide support to members when it is not possible for them to use MDCs, cellular telephones, etc. Notifications and call-ups will be done by members; except, SERT, EDU, HNT and Traffic Investigations will be done by BOEC. Non-emergency call backs will be done by members or by their desk clerk.

i.   Broadcast via voice and enter into the CAD all Attempt to Locate and Information of Interest information prior to closing the call.

j.   When the unavailability of units causes a significant geographic segment of a precinct to be without an immediate response capability, the dispatcher shall notify a field supervisor. If a field supervisor is unavailable, the dispatcher may direct these movements of units and notify a supervisor when practical.

k.  Notify the field supervisor if pending calls for service appear to be unusually heavy in any one

district or area.

l.   BOEC supervisors may raise or lower a call priority when appropriate. Decisions made by a BOEC supervisor regarding a call priority may not be changed without a Bureau supervisor’s approval, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

m. The 9-1-1 center dispatching a pursuit will contact other 9-1-1 centers and provide the following:

1.  Agency in pursuit.

2.  Reason for the pursuit.

3.  Vehicle/suspect description.

4.  Direction of pursuit.

n.  The other 9-1-1 centers will advise their members of the pursuit and the talkgroup it is on.

o.  The pursuit crosses jurisdictional lines and that agency assumes the pursuit, the 9-1-1 center for the assuming agency will dispatch the pursuit. 

Basic Member Responsibilities (612.00)

a.  Go in service, out of service and end his/her shift by MDC. Members will log on with the MDC with the following information:

1.  Unit number.

2.  Shift.

3.  Bureau I.D. number.

4.  Portable radio number.

5.  Password.

6.  Vehicle number.

7.  Cell phone number.

8.  Shotgun number.

9.  Car radio number.

b.  FTOs with trainees will notify the dispatcher by voice/MDC when they are a Training Car and considered a one member car for cover purposes.

c.  Complete calls received from BOEC as if received directly from a supervisor. Members will acknowledge calls without comment unless additional information is needed. If a member objects to a Priority E, 1 or 2 call, the member will complete the call, then object through appropriate channels, unless:

1. The call or directive is altered or countermanded by a supervisor, at which time that supervisor’s name and/or Bureau I.D. number will be entered into the CAD.

2.  If he/she has good reason to believe that the dispatcher’s directive entails a potential violation of law or policy or is an unnecessary risk to the safety of members or the public, then he/she may immediately contact a Bureau supervisor for a resolution.

d.  Monitor radio and MDC, except while in court, at MCDC, etc.

e.  Respond to a dispatched higher priority call while servicing a lower priority call.

f.   Respond, arrive and communicate tactical information via voice to Priority E, 1 and 2 calls or calls with cover. Members may update to On Scene by MDC, if tactically necessary.

g.  For Priority 3, 4 and 5 calls:

1.  Regularly, and after clearing a call, review calls holding within his/ her district and in adjoining districts on the MDC and assign themselves to calls when necessary to maintain response time goals.

2.  Notify a supervisor if unable to respond to a call in a timely manner.

3.  Before taking a holding call, consider the length of time the call has held, the nature of the call, the member’s reasonable proximity factors (distance, time, shift conditions, unit availability and practicality) and the member’s personal knowledge of the call.

4.  Assign themselves to Priority 3 and 4 calls by MDC.

5.  Request cover as necessary.

6.  Notify the dispatcher and a supervisor when unavailable for calls for an extended period of time.

h.  Before making a traffic stop, attempt to check the vehicle’s plate by MDC first, and then give the following information by voice or MDC:

1.  Unit number and 10-84 (wait for dispatcher to acknowledge).

2.  Vehicle license plate or description.

3.  Location.

i.   Use the MDC for routine status changes, (i.e., 10-81, 10-82, etc.), and include  the location.

j.    If practical, use the MDC Self-initiated Activity Mask when initiating non-cover activity.

k.   Requests for medical and fire assistance will be done via voice on Police Talkgroups only. In tactical situations where EMS is staging, members may use PFB DP to advise the medical/fire personnel when it is safe to enter the scene.

l.   The first member at the scene of a major incident or tactical situation requiring two or more units will assume control of the scene until relieved by a supervisor.

m. Members will broadcast any Attempt to Locate or Information of Interest via voice prior to closing the call.

n.  Recommend to supervisors the denial of service based on repeated requests to a chronic location or situation for which there is no resolution.

o.  Request cover for his/her self-dispatched calls.

p.  Immediately contact Records after stolen or recovered vehicle reports are taken.

q.  Take Priority 3 and 4 calls up to 30 minutes prior to the end of the shift (supervisors may override this policy on a case-by-case basis).

r.   Non-emergency call backs should be done by the members or desk clerks. Non-emergency call backs are generally defined as call backs relating to priority 3 and 4 calls, and those E, 1, and 2 calls when the incident has stabilized. 

Basic Supervisor Responsibilities (612.00)

a.  Deploy members by using a standard district numbering system, which allows deploying up to four cars per district for various activities, as follows (using district 620 as an example):





1 car assigned




2 cars assigned








3 cars assigned












4 cars assigned
















 1.  System eliminates shift designators and provides for the assignment of several cars to a single district to cover call taking needs and allow problem solving time.

2.  Supervisors should consider the options for numerical assignments available in relation to problems needing to be addressed. For example, a member needing some time to work on a problem could log-off from his/her three-digit district number and log-on with a four-digit non-call taking number, allowing the member time to address a problem area. Bicycles or other units with specific missions can be given four-digit numbers so they are not subject to radio calls but are in the CAD. An additional three-digit numbered car can be assigned to a district to handle only Priority 3 & 4 calls, which would allow the other district car time to work on problem areas and still respond to emergency calls in the district.

b.  Keep the assignment of administrative tasks to district units at an absolute minimum during pre-relief hours.

c.  Approve Denials of Service. After the supervisor has decided a course of action other than responding to the call, BOEC will be notified and the supervisor’s name and/or Bureau I.D. number will be entered into the call along with the reason for denial. The supervisor will contact the complainant and explain the denial of service. BOEC will not make these callbacks.

d.  During major situations or tactical responses requiring multiple units, assume direct responsibility for the assignment and deployment of police resources. Prior to arrival, the first member at the scene will assume control.

e.  When the unavailability of units causes a significant segment of the precinct to be without an immediate response capability, the supervisor will redirect units for adequate coverage. Requests may be made of other precincts or jurisdictions.

f.   Raise or lower a call priority depending on the circumstances.

g.  Supervisors will monitor MDC, CAD and radio messages to ensure conformance to procedures and standards.