Portland Police Shifting Officers to Patrol

Portland Police Badge
Portland Police Badge

December 11, 2020 11:46


In an effort to reduce significant overtime costs and maintain current service levels, Chief Chuck Lovell has announced a reorganization plan for the Portland Police Bureau which will add more officers to patrol.

The bureau has fewer officers today than it has in years. This is due to budget cuts, retirements and separations, and the backlog of needed training for new officers caused by the pandemic. Currently, the bureau has 865 sworn members with 52 vacancies. Of those sworn members, 603 are officers. Taking away officers assigned to investigations/follow-up units (i.e. Family Services, Detectives, Behavioral Health), are training instructors, are in training, are assigned to process phone and online reports, or are injured or on some other kind of leave, that leaves 290 assigned to patrol. They cover the city's three precincts, spread across three 10-hour shifts, seven days a week.

Due to significant overtime costs from months of civil unrest, the Bureau currently faces a $2 million deficit this fiscal year and must decrease its use of overtime to meet its budget. In order to have enough officers to respond to 911 emergency calls, the Bureau is having to hire a significant number officers on overtime.

"We are doing everything we can to reduce overtime and be good stewards of the public's dollars. That requires significant personnel and unit changes," said Chief Chuck Lovell. "In 2020, PPB experienced a large loss of personnel from retirements and separations, which has created vacancies and increased overtime. To meet our fiscal goals, we are shifting our resources to focus on responding to calls for service and conducting investigations. We have heard loud and clear from the public that these are priorities and we are taking that feedback into account. These changes are not a reflection of the quality of work performed by the impacted units, but rather a response to the realities we face with budget targets now and in the coming fiscal year."

Under Chief Lovell's direction the following moves to patrol will occur in 2021 after appropriate notice has been given under labor agreements:

Rapid Response Team (February 4) 49 officers
Transit Police (January 1) 7 officers

Deployable patrol officers 346

Less anticipated retirements/resignations through Jan. -22
Detective promotions -6

Deployable patrol officers 318

The following will be moved to patrol February 4:

Narcotics and Organized Crime officers 7 (includes drug k9)
Traffic officers (does not include traffic reconstructionists)20
K9 officers 9
Public Information Officers 2
Community Engagement Officers 3
Behavioral Health Officer 1
Training officers 0 (5 positions moved to patrol, not filling upcoming Jan retirements and resignations)

Deployable patrol officers 360

An additional 5 officers are expected to complete training in the next few months, bringing the anticipated total to 365.

This is phase one of Chief Lovell's plan. The second phase will be readjusting where supervisors are assigned and reconfiguring workload.

Year to date, for sworn officers, there have been 55 retirements with 22 pending. There have been 29 separations (figure includes trainees who did not complete their probationary period). Seven more have turned in paperwork to separate.

By comparison,
2019: 45 sworn retirements, 33 sworn separations
2018: 22 sworn retirements, 39 sworn separations
2017: 31 sworn retirements, 22 sworn separations
2016: 55 sworn retirements, 19 sworn separations
2015: 31 sworn retirements, 17 sworn separations
2014: 10 sworn retirements, 13 sworn separations



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Phone: 503-823-0830
1111 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204


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