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.
Beginning July 1, 2019, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) will align with Oregon state law enforcement standards for certification. Education requirements will be a high school diploma or GED, and incentive pay is offered to officers who pursue higher education and earn degrees. Effective July 1, candidates with bachelor's degrees and lateral experience will not be required to take the hiring exam, but all others will be required to pass the test within 60 days of being placed on the Bureau's eligible list.
PPB is considering changes to the grooming standard policy to include, considering candidates with tattoos above the collar line. They currently allow tattoos below the collar, but review them to ensure there is nothing that is sexually explicit, racially and/or sexually biased or could be viewed as discriminatory. PPB is also considering changing its grooming standards to allow beards as long as the beard does not interfere with the proper fit of protective equipment. These changes to the grooming standard policy are still in review.
"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."