Portland Police Department Officer Requirements
The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) works to reduce crime in the city of Portland. The department fosters relationships with the community in order to ensure that neighborhoods and businesses within the Portland metro are kept safe for citizens. The PPB participates in several minority advisory groups and offers safety and self-defense classes for residents.
Steps to Becoming a PPB Officer
- Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
- Complete an online application during a recruiting period.
- Take the Frontline National written exam for entry-level law enforcement.
- Appear for an oral board interview.
- Complete a psychological screening.
- Pass the physical abilities test.
- Pass the background investigation.
- Pass an in-depth psychological evaluation.
- Pass the medical exam.
- Pass the background check and drug test.
- Complete police academy training.
- Work for 18 months as a probationary officer.
- Begin working as a sworn PPB officer.
How to Become a Portland, Oregon Police Officer
The Portland Police Bureau evaluates and selects police recruits who meet the minimum requirements discussed below based on a thorough screening process. All applicants must pass a written examination, a physical abilities test, an interview, a psychological evaluation, and a medical exam. Candidates also must pass an extensive background investigation. Successful recruits will complete basic training in Salem and advanced training in Portland, followed by an 18-month probationary period. Promotion to high-level positions, including detective and sergeant, generally requires at least four-and-a-half years of service; three of those years must be with the Portland Police Bureau.
Portland Police Officer Job Description
Entry-level police officers with the Portland Police Bureau are generally assigned to community patrol and will be expected to respond to calls and help resolve community issues during their shifts. New police officers with the PPB must be willing to work different shifts and may be assigned to various locations throughout the city of Portland. All police officers generally work 40 hours a week, with overtime paid at time-and-a-half. Shift preferences, holidays, and time off are based on seniority. Police officers must be willing to work at a moment’s notice and are considered to be on call 24 hours a day.
Portland Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
All prospective Portland police officers must be a minimum of 21 years old and have earned a high school diploma or GED. In addition, applicants must have earned at least one of the following qualifications: an associate’s degree or a minimum of 60 college credits; a POST certificate from another state; two years of active duty in the United States military; four years in the military reserves; two years of law enforcement experience in the state of Oregon; or two years of employment as a Portland police cadet. Candidates must pass all stages of the hiring process to be conditionally hired as police recruits.
Selected applicants will be invited to attend the police academy. Recruits must complete two training sessions, the 16-week Oregon Basic Academy in Salem and the 12-week Portland Advanced Academy in Portland. Recruits are paid entry-level salaries during training academy sessions. Following graduation from the academy, police officers must complete an 18-month probationary period before becoming tenured police officers with the PPB.
Portland Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook
US Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that police officers in the Portland metro area earn an annual average salary of $68,690.1 Portland police recruits earn a base annual salary of $49,337 while in the police academy, which rises to $60,236 after six months of service.2 Further salary increases are awarded based on longevity, up to $80,828 after five years of service.2
Police officers with the Portland Police Bureau are also eligible for a full range of benefits, including health insurance, overtime pay at time-and-a-half, holiday pay, sick and personal days with pay, and annual vacation accrued by years of service. The department also offers pay incentives based on education, duty hazards, and shift assignments.
Portland Police Bureau
111 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is the Portland PD hiring?
Answer: The Portland Police Bureau hires new recruits on an as-needed basis. You can check JoinPortlandPolice.com to see if the PPB is currently hiring, or fill out a recruiter contact form to be notified when positions are available.
Question: What Portland Police Bureau jobs are available for career officers?
Answer: Promotion to detective, criminalist, or sergeant can be earned through competitive testing and assessment after four-and-a-half years of service as a sworn officer. After four-and-a-half years officers also become eligible for transfer to specialized units, which is also typically based on a competitive application process.
Question: Do you need to have a college degree to work for the PPB?
Answer: Prospective recruits who do not have at least 60 credit hours of college experience must have one of the following: a POST certificate from another state; two years of active duty in the United States military; four years in the military reserves; two years of law enforcement experience in the state of Oregon; or two years of employment as a Portland police cadet.
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro OR-WA: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_38900.htm
2. Portland Police Bureau: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/index.cfm?login=1&a=420416