Correction to Changes in PPB's Hiring Process and Policies (Photo)

June 19, 2019 20:27


The original release indicated the tattoo and beard policy will be effective July 1. This was an error. There is not an estimated date for this to go into effect, as the policy needs to be updated and sent out for public review and comment prior to being accepted. Please see revised release below.


The Portland Police Bureau continues to experience a critical staffing shortage, as it currently has 128 officer vacancies, with a large number of additional projected retirements in 2020. The Police Bureau is actively recruiting and hiring officers and continues to review and refine its process.

Beginning July 1, 2019, the Portland Police Bureau will align with Oregon state law enforcement standards for certification, including its education requirement. The State of Oregon requires a high school diploma or GED to be certified as a police officer and the Police Bureau will adopt this standard. The Bureau will continue to provide incentive pay to officers who pursue higher education and earn degrees. PPB will also continue to develop training and learning opportunities to ensure all officers receive necessary education and tools to develop and advance.

The Portland Police Bureau will also align with the state in regard to the hiring test, which is administered through the National Testing Network (NTN). Currently, all applicants must take this test; effective July 1, candidates with bachelor's degrees and lateral experience will not be required to take the exam. All others will be required to pass the test within 60 days of being placed on the Bureau's eligible list.

The Bureau is also considering changes to the grooming standard policy to include, considering candidates with tattoos above the collar line. The Bureau currently allows tattoos below the collar, but reviews them to ensure there is nothing that is sexually explicit, racially and/or sexually biased or could be viewed as discriminatory. This standard will also apply to any tattoos above the collar. Lastly, the bureau is considering changing its grooming standards to allow sworn members to grow a beard as long as the beard does not interfere with the proper fit of protective equipment. These changes to the grooming standard policy are in review and will be sent out for public comment when the draft it complete. There is no estimated date for this policy change.

"These changes to policies were made after careful review of our hiring process in the attempt to identify potential barriers to entry," said Chief Danielle Outlaw. "We will revisit the effectiveness of these changes after two years to determine if our hiring numbers have increased."

To learn about the entire hiring process, visit
Listen to "How to become a Portland Police Officer" from Talking Beat - from the Portland Police Bureau in Podcasts.



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