Standards & Training Guidelines

The following provides information regarding the minimum standards for employment as established by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST), which is the certifying agency for the State of Oregon. This information is contained within the Oregon Administrative Rules.

  1. Police Officer
  2. Dispatcher / Telecommunicator

259-008-0010 -
Minimum Standards for Employment as a Law Enforcement Officer

(1) Citizenship.

(a) A person may not be employed as a corrections officer for more than one year unless the person is a citizen of the United States.

(b) A person may not be employed as a police or parole and probation officer for more than 18 months unless the person is a citizen of the United States.

(2) Age. No law enforcement unit in this state shall employ as a police officer, corrections officer or parole and probation officer, any person who has not yet attained the age of 21 years.

(3) Fingerprints. On or before the date of employment, each police, corrections, or parole and probation officer shall be fingerprinted on standard applicant fingerprint cards. The hiring agency is responsible for fingerprinting and shall forward two (2) cards to the Oregon State Police Identification Services Section for processing and assignment of identification number.

(a) Applicant's fingerprints will be retained and kept on file with the Oregon State Police Identification Services Section.

(b) The Oregon State Police Identification Services Section will notify the Department and the employing agency of any criminal record disclosed through processing the applicant's fingerprint card.

(c) If any procedural change is made by either the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Oregon State Police Identification Services Section the Department shall comply with the most current requirements.

(d) If the fingerprint clearance has not been obtained prior to submission of the application for certification, a criminal history affidavit provided by the Department shall be completed and returned to the Department by the applicant pending fingerprint clearance.

(4) Criminal Records. No police, corrections, or parole and probation officer shall have been convicted:

(a) In this state or any other jurisdiction, of a crime designated under the law where the conviction occurred as being punishable as a felony or as a crime for which a maximum term of imprisonment of more than one (1) year may be imposed;

(b) Of violating any law involving the unlawful use, possession, delivery, or manufacture of a controlled substance, narcotic, or dangerous drug;

(c) In this state of violating any law subject to denial or revocation as identified in OAR 259-008-0070 or has been convicted of violating the statutory counterpart of any of those offenses in any other jurisdiction.

(5) Notification of Conviction:

(a) A law enforcement officer, instructor, telecommunicator, or EMD who is convicted of a crime, as identified in OAR OAR-008-0070, while employed by a public or private safety agency must notify the agency head within 72 hours of the conviction.

(b) When an agency receives notification of a conviction from its employee, or another source, they must notify the Department within five (5) business days. The notification to the Department must be in writing and include the specific charges of the conviction, the county and state where the conviction occurred, the investigating agency and the date of the conviction.

(6) Moral Fitness (Moral Character). All law enforcement officers must be of good moral fitness as determined by a thorough background investigation.

(a) For purposes of this standard, lack of good moral fitness means conduct not restricted to those acts that reflect moral turpitude but rather extending to acts and conduct which would cause a reasonable person to have substantial doubts about the individual's honesty, fairness, respect for the rights of others, or for the laws of the state and/or the nation.

(b) The following are indicators of a lack of good moral fitness:

(A) Illegal conduct involving moral turpitude;

(B) Conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;

(C) Intentional deception or fraud or attempted deception or fraud in any application, examination, or other document for securing certification or eligibility for certification;

(D) Conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

(E) Conduct that adversely reflects on his or her fitness to perform as a law enforcement officer. Examples include but are not limited to: Intoxication while on duty, untruthfulness, unauthorized absences from duty not involving extenuating circumstances, or a history of personal habits off the job which would affect the officer's performance on the job which makes the officer both inefficient and otherwise unfit to render effective service because of the agency's and/or public's loss of confidence in the officer's ability to perform competently.

(c) If reliable evidence is received by the Board or Department that a law enforcement officer lacks good moral fitness, a rebuttable presumption will be raised that the law enforcement officer does not possess the requisite moral fitness to be a law enforcement officer. The burden shall be upon the law enforcement officer to prove good moral fitness.

(7) Education:

(a) Applicants for the position of a law enforcement officer will be required to furnish documentary evidence of one of the following:

(A) High School diploma; or

(B) Successful completion of the General Educational Development (GED) Test.

(i) For the purpose of determining high school graduation level as required by these rules, the applicant must have achieved a score no less than that required by the Oregon Board of Education before issuing an Oregon GED certificate.

(ii) Applicants holding a GED from another state may be required to obtain an Oregon certificate at the discretion of the Department.

(b) Evidence of the above shall consist of official transcripts, diplomas, or GED test report forms. Other documentation may be accepted, at the discretion of the Department.

(c) Reading and Writing Standard. Before beginning basic police training, challenging basic police training, or beginning the police career officer development course, each applicant shall provide evidence to DPSST that the applicant has attained a minimum of a 12th grade reading and writing level in the English language. The hiring agency is responsible for administering a reading and writing instrument, approved by DPSST, and shall forward the results to DPSST on an application for training (Form F-5) prior to the applicant being admitted to basic police training. Implementation of this rule will take effect within one year from September 1, 2001.

(8) Physical Examination. All law enforcement officers and applicants must be examined by a licensed physician or surgeon.

(a) The medical examination shall be completed not more than 180 days prior to initial offer of employment, nor more than 90 days after initial offer of employment, and shall conform to applicable standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title 42 USC 12101.

(b) Individuals who have had a successfully completed physical examination (while at the same employer) and are selected for a certifiable position in a discipline in which the individual is not yet certified must complete and pass a new physical examination.

(c) The Department will not require a new physical examination when a law enforcement officer obtains employment, or re-employment, in the same discipline if the officer:

(A) Has had a successfully completed a physical examination, and

(B) Is currently certified; or

(C) Is an officer currently employed full-time in another jurisdiction who has successfully completed a comparable physical examination in that jurisdiction.

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (c), a medical examination may be required by a hiring agency at its discretion.

(e) Police, Corrections, and Parole and Probation applicants must meet the following criteria:

(A) Visual Acuity. Corrected vision must be at least 20/30 (Snellen) in each eye. Due to the demonstrated likelihood of dislodgement or breakage, candidates who are able to wear only glasses with frames must meet an uncorrected standard not worse than 20/100 (Snellen) in each eye. Those candidates who use soft contact lenses (SCLs) must have vision correctable to at least 20/30 in each eye, with no uncorrected standard, provided the employing agency will monitor compliance. Replacement glasses or lenses (as appropriate) must be on the person or readily available at all times during each work shift.

(B) Color Vision. Red or green deficiencies may be acceptable, providing the applicant can read at least nine (9) of the first thirteen (13) plates of the Ishihara Test (24 Plate Edition). Applicants who fail the Ishihara test can meet the color vision standard by demonstrating that they can correctly discriminate colors via a field test conducted by the employer and approved by DPSST.

(C) Depth Perception. Depth Perception must be sufficient to demonstrate stereopsis adequate to perform the essential tasks of the job. The recommended test is the Random Stereo Test with 60 seconds of arc.

(D) Peripheral Vision. Visual Field Performance must be 140 degrees in the horizontal meridian combined.

(E) Night Blindness. A history of night blindness should be evaluated to determine applicant's capacity to perform essential tasks at night or in dark or low light settings.

(f) Applicants for the position of police or corrections officer must have sufficient hearing in both ears to perform essential tasks without posing a direct threat to themselves or others. The applicant must have no average loss greater than 25 decibels (db) at the 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000-Hertz levels in either ear with no single loss in excess of 40 db.

(g) Applicants for the position of parole and probation officer must have sufficient hearing in both ears to perform essential tasks without posing a direct threat to themselves or others. The applicant must have no average loss greater than 35 decibels (db) at the 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hertz levels in either ear with no single loss in excess of 45 db.

(h) If amplification device(s) is (are) necessary to meet the criteria in (f) or (g) above, or if applicant cannot meet the above criteria and wishes to pursue application, applicant must:

(A) Obtain a hearing evaluation by a licensed audiologist or otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat) to determine current hearing aid requirement; and

(B) Achieve a Speech Reception Threshold (SRT) of no greater than 25 db for each ear;

(C) Police, corrections and parole and probation officers must achieve a Speech Discrimination test score of no less than 90% utilizing a standard 50-word presentation at 60 db Hearing Threshold Level (HTL). The Department may require an applicant to have another examination by a licensed audiologist or otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat) designated by the Department to verify that the applicant's hearing meets the Board's minimum hearing standard. The verification examination will be at the expense of the applicant or the applicant's employing agency. The equipment utilized for all of these evaluations must be calibrated annually using current ANSI standards.

(D) Hearing amplification devices used to meet the hearing standard must be the type that protects the applicant from further hearing degradation due to amplification of loud sounds.

(i) Applicants for the position of police, corrections, or parole and probation officer must be able to use vocal chords and have significant speaking ability to perform speaking-related essential tasks. For police and corrections officers abnormalities of the nose, throat or mouth must not interfere with the applicant's breathing or proper fitting of gas mask or similar device.

(j) Applicants for the position of police, corrections, or parole and probation officer who have a history of organic cardio-vascular disease or a finding during the medical examination of organic cardio-vascular disease will necessitate further medical evaluation.

(A) Resting blood pressure must be less than or equal to 140 mmHg systolic and 90 mmHg diastolic on three successive readings.

(B) Applicants must not have a functional and therapeutic cardiac classification greater than the Heart Association's Class A.

(C) Failure to meet guidelines (j), (A) and (B) will require further medical evaluation.

(D) If the applicant has controlled hypertension not exceeding the above standards and is on medication with side effect profiles, which do not interfere with performance of duty, then the condition may not be excludable.

(E) Functional Capacity I patients with cardiac disease may not be excludable, if they have no limitations of physical activity and ordinary physical activity does not cause discomfort and they do not have symptoms of cardiac insufficiency, nor experience angina pain.

(F) Therapeutic Classification A patients with cardiac disease, whose physical activity is restricted, should be evaluated thoroughly.

(G) If further medical examination is required under (j), it will be at the expense of the applicant or hiring authority.

(k) All law enforcement applicants must submit a current-version DPSST Medical Examination Report (DPSST Form F2), or a medical report completed by a licensed physician containing at a minimum the information on Form F2 and a signed statement by the examining physician that the applicant does not have any condition, physical, mental, or emotional, which, in his/her opinion, suggests further examination. This Report will be furnished to the examining physician by the hiring agency. The physician must indicate that the applicant is or is not physically able to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer as prescribed by DPSST.

(l) A copy of the Medical Examination Report must be sent to the Department prior to acceptance into a basic course, or any course where such report is required by the Department.

(m) The Department may require an applicant offered conditional employment to take a subsequent examination by a licensed physician of the Department's choice at the expense of the applicant or the hiring authority.

(n) The Board may waive any physical requirement where, in its judgment, the waiver would not be detrimental to the performance of an officer's duties, including the protection of the public and the safety of co-workers. The applicant may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform the essential functions of the job.

(o) A person or department head requesting a waiver of any physical requirement set forth in section (8) of this rule shall submit the request to the Department in writing, accompanied by supporting documents or pertinent testimony which would justify the action requested. The supporting documents must include information pertinent to the waiver request. The Board or Department may require additional documentation or testimony by the person or department head requesting the waiver if clarification is needed. Any expense associated with providing documentation or testimony will be borne by the person requesting the waiver or the requesting agency. If the person requesting the waiver does not obtain employment within one (1) year from the date a waiver is granted, the waiver will be considered void. If the Board grants a waiver, it will be recorded on the certification and any subsequent certification unless removed by the Board upon proof that the condition prompting the waiver no longer exists.