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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

1221.00 Smart Phone Issuance and Usage

1221.00 Smart Phone Issuance and Usage

Universal Review: 9/21/16 – 10/20/16



  • ORS § 162.305, Tampering with Records
  • DIR 317.40 Authorized Use of Bureau Resources
  • DIR 614.50, Release of Information
  • DIR 640.02 Photography and Digital Imaging
  • Application Request Review Process Outline
  • Portland Police Bureau Intranet



  1. This policy provides guidance to bureau members about the issuance processes for bureau-issued smart phones, the appropriate uses of bureau-issued smart phones, and technology considerations related to smart phone use.
  2. Members may use their smart phone to document and gather information, but members shall not use or treat the smart phone as a body worn camera.
  3. Members receiving a smart phone will retain the initial phone number assigned, regardless of the type of phone issued.
  4. The Bureau has iPhones and Android phones for issuance; however, all members will be issued iPhones with the exception for callout units. Callout unit members have the option of using Android phones.



  1. Issuance.

1.1.       Process for issuing new phones:

1.1.1.         A list of the work units and positions authorized to receive smart phones is located on the Intranet.  Any variance from the established list requires written or email approval from the Assistant Chief of Services.

1.1.2.         Bureau administrative staff or designees from the Chief’s Office will submit requests for new phones to Management Services Division (MSD).  The MSD Communications Coordinator is the approving authority for all requests.

1.1.3.         Once approved by MSD, an authorized staff member will submit the requests to the City’s Bureau of Technology Services (BTS) Phone Coordinator via the Cherwell system.       New recipients may be required to work directly with the BTS Phone Coordinator to setup the phone.

1.2.       Process for issuing replacement phones:

1.2.1.         Phones are typically available for replacement on a 16-month cycle. Cyclical replacement may involve a free upgrade to a new model.       Members who are eligible for a phone replacement, or the phone is no longer able to meet operational needs, will contact their divisions’ phone coordinator, usually the administrative supervisor or lead.       Division phone coordinators will coordinate with the MSD Communications Coordinator, who will work with BTS Phone Coordinator to review the request and ensure the phone is eligible for replacement.       Fulfillment of these replacement requests is handled in the same manner as the issuance of new phones.

1.3.       Process for callout units:

1.3.1.         Roles and units include: Critical Incident Commanders, Crisis Negotiation Team, Explosive Disposal Units, and Special Emergency Reaction Team.

1.3.2.         Assigned members may request a swap from a Bureau-issued iPhone to an Android phone (Android phones provide prolonged notification until the user confirms receipt).

1.3.3.         The callout unit phone coordinator will identify an available Android phone and license for incoming members and request to ITD to re-assign the phone and capture text messages.

1.3.4.         For departing members, the phone coordinator will submit a Cherwell ticket to revert the member’s phone number from an Android license to an iPhone license.

1.3.5.         Due to the limited amount of Android phones and licenses available, members must return their Android phone to the Sergeant/Manager overseeing the unit. Members will request a new iPhone with their new unit’s phone coordinator.       


2.   Process for reporting lost or stolen phones:

2.1.       Immediately report a lost or stolen phone as follows:

2.1.1.         During business hours, members will contact the BTS Helpdesk and provide the location where the phone was reported stolen or lost, who the phone is issued to, and the number of the phone.  

2.1.2.         For reporting a loss after business hours, members will call the after-hours support number (x3-5199 and selecting 3 for Police) to report the missing phone.

2.2.       When reporting a lost or stolen phone, members must communicate what kind of information was stored or handled on the phone, and specify if it contained confidential or sensitive data (Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) information, etc.).

2.3.       Members will notify their manager of the loss or theft within 24 hours.

2.4.       Members will send a memo to their branch Assistant Chief, through channels, explaining the circumstances under which the phone went missing.

2.5.       Members will follow the process for issuing replacement phones outlined in Section 1.2. to receive a new phone.


3.   Process for returning smart phones upon bureau member separation or change in assignment that does not warrant a smart phone:

3.1.       Members will return their smart phones to MSD upon separation before or after their last day of employment at the Bureau, or their first day of the new assignment.


4.   Trouble-shooting and Technical Assistance.

4.1.       The Bureau’s Information Technology Department (ITD) will address the most common user questions regarding phone functionality, and provide information and resources to members at the time of phone issuance.  Members can also seek additional information through the Bureau’s Intranet.

4.2.       For additional questions or concerns, submit a descriptive email to

4.2.1.         If there is no response after four (4) hours, submit a BTS Helpdesk Ticket by calling x3-5199.

4.3.       In the event that BTS cannot resolve an issue or the phone is determined to be faulty, members must request a replacement phone outlined in Section 1.2.


5.   Technology Considerations.

5.1.       Network Password Changes.

5.1.1.         Members must update their network passwords on both their computer workstation and smart phone in order for the phone to sync with their email.

5.2.       Process for members requesting additional functionality or applications for their smart phones.

5.2.1.         Members will submit a memo through channels requesting new functionality that includes:       An explanation of the need,       Specific solution (if one has been identified),       Costs related to the solution(s), and       The members who would benefit from the expanded functionality.

5.2.2.         All requests will be routed to the Adjunct for the Investigations Branch where they will be evaluated for 1) work functionality, 2) security vulnerabilities, and 3) associated costs.

5.2.3.         ITD will post the final disposition on the Intranet once the requests have gone through all three stages of review (two stages if no costs are associated).       Members can access the request log on the Intranet by locating the file titled “Smart Phone Application Request Log” or conducting a search using the word “Smart” in the File/Search menu.       It is the responsibility of the requestor to check the file for final disposition and should only submit a request for status to the Adjunct if the file has not been updated after one month has elapsed.

5.3.       Allowable Applications (apps).

5.3.1.         The only apps that are allowed to be installed are those from a pre-determined list of apps, as approved by the Chief’s Office, ITD, and Fiscal Services (if charges apply). These applications are installed automatically on phones at time of deployment/approval and members may not eliminate any applications installed at time of phone deployment.

5.3.2.         Some common applications that are NOT allowed to be installed on bureau-issued smart phones include Apple’s iMessage, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Assistant, and Android S Voice.

5.3.3.         The Bureau will not allow members to download or install apps which are not on the approved list. 

5.3.4.         To request apps not on the approved list, members will follow the process outlined in Section 5.2.

5.3.5.         To prevent security vulnerabilities on the police network, ITD will audit all phones on an ongoing basis.       Any unauthorized applications found on a phone will be removed.

5.4.       Access to social media sites and social media apps:

5.4.1.         Members will be allowed to access social media sites that are currently allowable via MDCs and desktops.

5.4.2.         Members will be allowed to install certain social media apps from the approved list of apps.

5.4.3.         Members should always ask ITD if a website is allowed before entering the site.

5.5.       Breaking a phone’s operating system (‘jail break’): 

5.5.1.         Members are prohibited from breaking a bureau-issued phone’s operating system.  See Directive 317.40, Authorized Use of Bureau Resources.

5.5.2.         In the event the phone is altered, ITD will receive an automatic alert.  ITD will immediately lock and wipe the member’s phone and notify the respective division manager of the incident.

5.6.       Factory Reset Prohibition:

5.6.1.         Factory resetting a bureau-issued phone is prohibited.  See Directive 317.40, Authorized Use of Bureau Resources.

5.6.2.         In the event that a member resets their phone, ITD will receive an automatic alert and will communicate the incident to the respective division manager. 

5.7.       Storage on iCloud:

5.7.1.         Members will not use iCloud, or similar cloud-based storage, as it renders the Bureau out of compliance with CJIS.

5.7.2.         ITD will provide an alternative CJIS compliant option for file sharing at the time of the request.

5.8.       Location services (GPS):

5.8.1.         Bureau-issued phones are configured so that location services cannot be turned off.  Location services is enabled to allow ITD to locate a phone in the event it has been lost or stolen.

5.8.2.         Members are prohibited from disabling the phone’s GPS.

5.8.3.         Members must notify ITD if their phone’s GPS is not working.

5.9.       Support of applications:

5.9.1.         Only approved applications, services, and functions shall be used on smart phones. No other application, service, or function of the phone, even if offered (such as hot-spotting) should be used.

5.9.2.         ITD does not support any non-Bureau created applications. Members using applications from external open market sources must contact these developers directly for technical assistance.  

5.10.   Installation of iOS updates:

5.10.1.     Smart phones often have operating system updates available; however, members will not apply an update until ITD sends an official notification approving the OS update.   Members should ask their phone coordinator when uncertain if a notification has been sent.

5.10.2.     Members will accept the notification and install updates while in a Police facility and through the Bureau’s secure Wi-Fi. The update process requires five to ten minutes and is completed once the phone initiates an automatic reboot and restart.


6.   Capturing Evidence from Phones.

6.1.       All text messages, videos, and pictures are deemed potential evidence by the City Attorney and will, thus, be copied from all sworn members’ phones during any phone deployment.

6.2.       Text Messages:

6.2.1.         Members will not delete or remove any sent or received text messages.

6.2.2.         The MSD Communications Coordinator will copy existing text messages from the member’s phone at the time of a phone replacement.

6.2.3.         If a phone reaches the maximum storage, the phone owner will bring the phone to the MSD Coordinator who will download the text messages from the phone and free up storage space.

6.3.       Taking Pictures and Videos:

6.3.1.         Pictures and videos taken are official public records and shall be retained. For more information, see Directive 614.50, Release of Information.

6.3.2.         Members must follow the established processes outlined in Directive 640.02, Photography and Digital Imaging, for uploading all pictures and videos from their phone to the DIMS system. 

6.3.3.         Direct any issues and questions regarding the process to the Forensic Evidence Division’s DIMS coordinator.

6.4.       Any Other Evidentiary Information:

6.4.1.         Text messages, pictures, and any other media or communications on the phone and defined as, or that may be deemed by law enforcement or judicial entities as evidentiary, shall be retained.

6.5.       It is the member’s responsibility to ensure that evidence is transitioned to the appropriate system for retention. If there are any questions about what information is defined as evidence, what systems are appropriate, or the method of transitioning information from the phone to the appropriate system, the bureau member shall contact their division manager.


7.   Mobility (VPN) Function:

7.1.       Mobility is turned on at initial configuration and enables secure communications through the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

7.1.1.         Members will not turn off the Virtual Private Network (VPN) function.

7.1.2.         Members will need to check each time they power their phone to make sure this feature is set to ‘ON.’

7.1.3.         Accessing public Wi-Fi networks will turn Mobility off.       Instructions for turning on Mobility can be accessed on the Intranet by searching key words ‘Smart phone, Mobility.’


8.   Phone Contacts:

8.1.       Members can add contacts via Outlook or by manual entry.  Instructions to perform either method can be found on the Intranet by searching key words ‘Smart phone, Contacts.’

8.2.       In order to prevent loss of contact information in the event the phone is stolen, lost, or transitioned to another phone, members should save information to the Exchange server.

8.3.       All bureau-issued phones can be accessed by BTS.  Members should be aware of this when deciding to include confidential contacts on their phones.


9.   Releasing Information:

9.1.       City of Portland policy prohibits releasing information not related to an incident and that is not related to City business.  

9.1.1.         Any request that includes general language or a request for information without a specific CAD call will be denied. 

9.1.2.         All records requests will be facilitated by the Records Supervisor in charge of public records requests.


10.   Forwarding Work Phone Information to a Personal Phone:

10.1.   This practice is discouraged. Any time personal phones are used to conduct City business-related functions such as calls, text messages, and emails, be aware the personal phone is now subject to Oregon Public Records laws and may be deemed discoverable.