Hiring Police Officer Problems in Portland

 

From a KPTV report in Portland, OR:

See the source imagePORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – Despite public refrains about problems recruiting new officers, the Portland Police Bureau’s internal hiring statistics paint a different picture of the bureau’s staffing issues.

According to the police bureau’s 2021 Annual Report, 42 sworn officers retired that year, and 58 more chose to leave the bureau in what it calls “unplanned separations.” But despite the departures, there was strong interest in the bureau’s open officer positions. Six hundred and seventy-five people applied for the job, and the bureau conducted 568 background checks, but only 27 officers were ultimately hired, just 4% of those who applied, and well short of the bureau’s internal goals.

“Ten percent historically has kind of been the number that we’ve worked with,” said Sgt. Trevor Tyler, who works in the bureau’s personnel division.

Of the 675 that applied to the Portland Police Bureau, 568 passed the written test and the oral interview to enter the background check phase of the hiring process. The report lists two of the most common problems that eliminate candidates:

Tyler said two common barriers to entry for applicants are spotty driving records and recent marijuana use.

“If you’ve had three tickets within the last three years, I’m prohibited from being able to move you forward in the process because I have to be able to get you insured by the City of Portland,” said Tyler.

As for marijuana, which has been legal in Oregon since 2016, a federal mandate that requires no marijuana use in the past 12 months for officers to access the federal system to run background checks on suspects.

“And the problem is that some of the people that we get in front of or some of the people that decide they want to be police officers, six months ago when they were at a party, they might have partaken in marijuana products, and now they have to wait for six more months until they can apply,” said Tyler.

There can be other problems that are discovered in the background check. Poor credit, failure to file taxes, poor work history, dishonorable discharge from the armed forces, LSD and Heroin use, and other criminal activity, to name a few more disqualifiers to become a PPB officer.

The 58 “unplanned separations” might include the 150+ nights of rioting in 2020, although the media in Portland has trouble discerning the difference between “protests” and riots, police officers do not have that problem.

A Multnomah County District Attorney that is more interested in prosecuting police officers rather than criminals, albeit one that is not as outspoken as other Soros prosecutors in other states.

There is, of course, a dysfunctional city council that has been more than willing to blame the PPB for its policy failures.

The City of Portland covers about 145 square miles, population is about 666,249. The Portland Metro area has a population of about 2.3 million residents.

According to a report from The City of Portland:

PPB has 322 patrol officers to work three precincts 24/7 and answer 911 calls. This is not the total number of officers working at one time. Officers work four 10-hour shifts and have 3 days off per week. Patrol officers also have vacations, sick time, family leave and required training.

PPB Sworn Staffing Report:
Report Date: 11/08/2022

Sworn Members: 792
Officers: 530
Officers in Training: 86

Patrol Officers: 322
…….East Officers: 113
…….Central Officers: 102
…….North Officers: 107

At one time, non-emergency calls were the low priority, 9-1-1 calls were high priority. You might have to wait far longer than you should if you call 9-1-1, you might have to wait even longer for any follow-up investigation.

Published in Policing
Tags:
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 15 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    How many officers left due to Covid vaccine mandates?  And, if Portland is anything like Seattle, police no longer respond to property crimes at all.

    • #1
  2. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Gee.  That wouldn’t have anything to do with the city experiencing their 89th homicide of 2022  yesterday, would it?  A  month and a half to break the record set last year of 92.  Anyone wanna take a  bet?  2021 of course shattered the 57 in 2020.  Which was the highest number  since 1988. For reference, 2019’s number was 36.

    Nah, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

    • #2
  3. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Doug Watt: “If you’ve had three tickets within the last three years, I’m prohibited from being able to move you forward in the process because I have to be able to get you insured by the City of Portland,” said Tyler.

    Okay, that is interesting. What other police department policies are determined by what the insurance companies say?

    • #3
  4. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    How many officers left due to Covid vaccine mandates? And, if Portland is anything like Seattle, police no longer respond to property crimes at all.

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    Gee. That wouldn’t have anything to do with the city experiencing their 89th homicide of 2022 yesterday, would it? A month and a half to break the record set last year of 92. Anyone wanna take a bet? 2021 of course shattered the 57 in 2020. Which was the highest number since 1988. For reference, 2019’s number was 36.

    Nah, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

    A call for service can take hours to resolve. Sorting out stories and then going to booking depending upon the severity of the crime, or crimes can take 3 to 4 hours or more. Unlike TV dramas when that call is resolved in 8 to 10 minutes to accommodate a commercial break for a TV audience.

    When you are on that call multiple officers in any number of precincts have to adjust their own responses to provide coverage for the officer, or officers that are out of service to resolve an earlier call.

    • #4
  5. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Internet's Hank (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: “If you’ve had three tickets within the last three years, I’m prohibited from being able to move you forward in the process because I have to be able to get you insured by the City of Portland,” said Tyler.

    Okay, that is interesting. What other police department policies are determined by what the insurance companies say?

    That is determined by local requirements. Cities have deeper monetary pockets than some three- or four-time loser that kills three or more people in a felony chase. Golf condo payments are very expensive for ambulance chasers.

    • #5
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I would imagine anyone applying for a position with that police force would have to be stoned.

    • #6
  7. Al French Moderator
    Al French
    @AlFrench

    What’s the difference between sworn members and officers? Brass? Patrol officers plus officers in training are 408. What do the other 122 officers do? Detectives and misc desk jobs?

    In any event, that is about 12 officers per 10,000 population. The average for cities the size of Portland is 29.8. (It’s more complicated than just a population ratio, but this gives a good idea. The source of this information gives good background.)

    What different picture do the hiring statistics paint? None that I can see. It’s been hard to find qualified applicants forever. A huge percentage always wash out. The only concept that is new to me is that too many dope smokers are disqualified. In Portland? Who’d uv thunk. It looks to me that they’re trying to spin bad news into good.

    • #7
  8. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    How many officers left due to Covid vaccine mandates? And, if Portland is anything like Seattle, police no longer respond to property crimes at all.

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    Gee. That wouldn’t have anything to do with the city experiencing their 89th homicide of 2022 yesterday, would it? A month and a half to break the record set last year of 92. Anyone wanna take a bet? 2021 of course shattered the 57 in 2020. Which was the highest number since 1988. For reference, 2019’s number was 36.

    Nah, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

    A call for service can take hours to resolve. Sorting out stories and then going to booking depending upon the severity of the crime, or crimes can take 3 to 4 hours or more. Unlike TV dramas that call is resolved in 8 to 10 minutes to accommodate a commercial break for a TV audience.

    When you are on that call multiple officers in any number of precincts have to adjust their own responses to provide coverage for the officer, or officers that are out of service to resolve an earlier call.

    Just to make sure – I did not mean my comments as derogatory towards law enforcement in any way.   I have a cousin in the Beaverton PD, another in the Contra Costa county Sheriff’s office, and a brother-in-law in the Nampa, ID PD.  All of them are in “management” positions (Lts or above).  My main point was that the attrition has reduced the Portland PB to a point where they are barely able to function, and certainly not effectively.

    • #8
  9. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    How many officers left due to Covid vaccine mandates? And, if Portland is anything like Seattle, police no longer respond to property crimes at all.

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    Gee. That wouldn’t have anything to do with the city experiencing their 89th homicide of 2022 yesterday, would it? A month and a half to break the record set last year of 92. Anyone wanna take a bet? 2021 of course shattered the 57 in 2020. Which was the highest number since 1988. For reference, 2019’s number was 36.

    Nah, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

    A call for service can take hours to resolve. Sorting out stories and then going to booking depending upon the severity of the crime, or crimes can take 3 to 4 hours or more. Unlike TV dramas that call is resolved in 8 to 10 minutes to accommodate a commercial break for a TV audience.

    When you are on that call multiple officers in any number of precincts have to adjust their own responses to provide coverage for the officer, or officers that are out of service to resolve an earlier call.

    Just to make sure – I did not mean my comments as derogatory towards law enforcement in any way. I have a cousin in the Beaverton PD, another in the Contra Costa county Sheriff’s office, and a brother-in-law in the Nampa, ID PD. All of them are in “management” positions (Lts or above). My main point was that the attrition has reduced the Portland PD to a point where they are barely able to function, and certainly not effectively.

    I did not take your comment as derogatory. I have known supervisors that do a great job, and in many cases support their line officers. They have been on the line themselves.

    • #9
  10. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Doug Watt: Of the 675 that applied to the Portland Police Bureau 568 passed the written test and the oral interview to enter the background check phase of the hiring process.

    In my experience, that’s a remarkably high pass rate to move on to the BI stage.  A LOT of people want to be LEO’s who have NO BUSINESS in the field.  Just what does it take to DQ somebody before wasting time and money on a BI?

    • #10
  11. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    How many officers left due to Covid vaccine mandates? And, if Portland is anything like Seattle, police no longer respond to property crimes at all.

    In Cincy low level crimes / properties crimes are reported on a website.  No police involved and the insurance handles it. 

    • #11
  12. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I am impressed that they are still being selective.  The need for more bodies would otherwise seem to invite political intrusions and appointments and expedient choices.    

    • #12
  13. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    At this point anybody joining a Democrat city police force deserve whatever they get.  They have been warned.  They have been shown.  

    • #13
  14. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    At this point anybody joining a Democrat city police force deserve whatever they get. They have been warned. They have been shown.

    It might actually be a pretty well-paid and safe gig if they never try to actually enforce laws and stuff.

    • #14
  15. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    At this point anybody joining a Democrat city police force deserve whatever they get. They have been warned. They have been shown.

    It might actually be a pretty well-paid and safe gig if they never try to actually enforce laws and stuff.

    Especially if you are not White, male and / or Christian.  

    • #15
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.