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How to Become a Police Officer in Oregon

Becoming a Police Officer in Eugene, Oregon

The Eugene Police Department (541-682-5111) serves the city of Eugene, Oregon, and the more than 156,000 individuals who live there. The Eugene Police Department consists of about 330 employees, 190 of which are sworn officers who work in investigations, patrol, traffic enforcement, and administrative positions.

This guide will provide insight and guidance for individuals who are working toward becoming a police officer in Eugene, Oregon:

  1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements
  2. Apply for Employment
  3. Take the Physical Abilities Test
  4. Complete Remaining Employment Testing
  5. Complete Academy Training

Step 1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements

Before applying for a job with the Eugene Police Department, you must ensure you meet all minimum employment requirements. Candidates for Eugene police jobs must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Possess a high school diploma or the equivalent
  • Have completed at least two years of college coursework in social science, criminal justice, or a related field
  • Have at least one year of experience working in at least one of the following situations: working with the public; handling stressful situations; working in criminal justice; working in social sciences; or working with special needs groups or working with multi-cultural groups.

Step 2. Apply for Employment

Eugene police jobs are posted on the governmentjobs.com website. If the position of Eugene police officer is not listed, you may submit an Interest Form as to be notified when the position is posted on the site.

Note: Applications are only available when the position is open.

You may also locate up-to-date information regarding Eugene police jobs on the Police Employment page or by calling 541-682-2676.

Step 3.  Take the Physical Abilities Test

All candidates for Eugene police jobs must first take the Eugene Police Department Police Officer Physical Abilities Test (POPAT). The POPAT consists of four stations, all of which are timed and all of which must be completed:

  • Station 1: .25 Mobility/Agility Run
  • Station 2: Push/Pull station
  • Station 3: Modified Squat Thrust and Stand station
  • Station 4: Torso Bag Carry

You can read more detailed information about the POPAT, including helpful tips and videos for preparing for the test by visiting the Police Employment page.

Step 4. Complete Remaining Employment Testing

Although the Eugene Police Department does not have extensive information on employment testing, all candidates for Eugene police jobs, upon passing the POPAT, must undergo the following employment testing:

  • Written test
  • Oral interview
  • Background investigation
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Drug test

Step 5. Complete Academy Training

All new police officer recruits must complete 16-week basic police academy training in Salem, Oregon, followed by 5 months of field training and a supplementary program lasting from 4 to 6 weeks.

Becoming a Police Officer in Gresham, Oregon

The Gresham Police Department (503-618-2318) consists of 120 sworn officers and 32 civilian employees, all of which are dedicated to providing 24-hour police service to the 100,000 citizens of Gresham, Oregon, the fourth largest city in Oregon.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for individuals interested in becoming a police officer in Gresham:

  1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements
  2. Submit an Application for Employment
  3. Take the Written Test and the Physical Abilities Test
  4. Interview with the Department
  5. Undergo Background Investigation
  6. Complete Remaining Employment Testing
  7. Complete Police Academy Training

Step 1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements

Individuals who want to learn how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Gresham must first determine if they meet minimum employment requirements. Candidates who want to attain Gresham police jobs must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Have no felony criminal record
  • Have no record of domestic violence
  • Must have the ability to obtain a valid driver’s license by date of hire
  • Must have a good driving record

Step 2. Submit an Application for Employment

View the Job Opportunities page to view Gresham police officer openings. You may only submit an application if the Department is currently recruiting police officers.

If the Department is recruiting police officers and the job announcement is listed on the Job Opportunities page, you may submit an online city application by the closing date listed on the job posting.

If you have any questions regarding using the online application system, you may contact the NeoGov customer service line at 877-204-4442. General questions related to the job posting should be directed to the Gresham Police Department Human Resources Department at HR@GreshamOregion.gov or at 503-618-2882.

Step 3. Take the Written Test and the Physical Abilities Test

Upon submitting your employment application and receiving an email confirmation, you must schedule an appointment with the National Testing Network to take the written test and the physical abilities test.

Step 4. Interview with the Department

The City of Gresham will review the test scores and applications of all candidates and contact a select group of candidates to schedule an interview with the Department.

Step 5. Undergo Background Investigation

Only a select few candidates who pass the Department interview will be chosen to complete the employment process, which includes undergoing a thorough background investigation.

Step 6. Complete Remaining Employment Testing

Only a select few candidates who pass the background investigation will be given a conditional offer of employment by the Gresham Police Department. All candidates who receive an offer of employment will be required to complete employment testing, which includes passing a psychological exam, medical exam, and drug screen.

Step 7. Complete Police Academy Training

All new recruits must complete the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Police Academy, followed by mandatory field training, upon being hired by the Department.

Becoming a Police Officer in Hillsboro, Oregon

The Hillsboro Police Department, the fifth largest municipal police agency in Oregon, consists of 122 sworn officers who are called upon to serve, protect and assist the city’s 90,000 citizens.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to become a cop in Hillsboro by meeting departmental requirements:

  1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements
  2. Submit an Application for Employment
  3. Take the Written Test
  4. Take the Physical Agility Test
  5. Undergo Extensive Background Investigation
  6. Undergo Medical and Psychological Examinations
  7. Complete Police Academy Training

Step 1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Individuals interested in becoming a police officer in Hillsboro must determine if they meet minimum eligibility requirements before applying for employment. In particular, candidates for Hillsboro police jobs must:

  • Be at least 21 years old (at the time of appointment with the Department)
  • Possess a valid Oregon driver’s license (or be able to obtain)
  • Have a good driving record
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Acceptable experience and training, which includes at least ONE of the following:
    • High school diploma or GED, along with college-level coursework
    • Experience in law enforcement, the military or related fields (psychology, social service, etc.)
    • Any combination of education, training, and experience that meets Department requirements will be considered

Step 2. Submit an Application for Employment

Because the City of Hillsboro only accepts applications for posted positions, you must first determine if the Department is hiring police officers by visiting the City of Hillsboro Employment page. If the position of police officer is listed, you may:

(1) Download, print and complete the Application Packet;

(2) Apply online through governmentjobs.com (you will need to first create an account);

(3) Request an application packet by calling 503-681-6455 or emailing HR@ci.hillsboro.or.us; or

(4) Pick up an application packet in person at the HR office for the City of Hillsboro located on East Main St (M-F 8am-5pm).

You must complete the online application or return the application packet by the deadline listed on the job posting to the HR office for the City of Hillsboro located on East Main St.

Step 3. Take the Written Test

The first step in the employment process, provided you meet minimum employment requirements and have been contacted by the Department, is the written test, which consists of four components:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Spelling/grammar
  • Incident report writing
  • Basic math

You must receive a minimum score of 70 percent in all components of the exam to be eligible to continue the employment process. Detailed information about the written test can be found in the Application Packet.

Step 4. Take the Physical Agility Test

Only those candidates who pass the written test are eligible to take the Hillsboro Physical Agility Test, which is a version of the Oregon Physical Agility Test (PAT). You will be expected to perform a number of activities, including:

  • Walking
  • Vaulting
  • Jumping
  • Carrying
  • Climbing
  • Lifting

There are two components to PAT:

  • Obstacle course
  • Dummy drag

Detailed information about the Physical Agility Test can be found in the Application Packet.

Step 5. Undergo Extensive Background Investigation

Only those candidates who pass the PAT will be invited to continue the employment process, which includes undergoing an extensive background investigation.

Step 6. Undergo Medical and Psychological Examinations

A select few candidates who successfully pass the background investigation will continue with the employment process, which includes undergoing a through medical exam and psychological exam.

Step 7. Complete Police Academy Training

All new recruits for the Hillsboro Police Department must be able to complete Police Academy training and receive certification from the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) within 12 months of employment.

Becoming a Police Officer in Portland, Oregon

One thousand sworn personnel and 350 professional staff members throughout three precincts make up the Portland Police Bureau, the largest police agency in Oregon. The members of the Portland Police Bureau are committed to community policing in order to reduce crime and to provide community support.

This guide is designed for individuals who want to learn how to become a cop by meeting police officer requirements in Portland:

  1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirement
  2. Apply for Employment
  3. Take the Written Test
  4. Take the Physical Ability Test
  5. Participate in the Oral Interview
  6. Undergo a Background Investigation
  7. Undergo a Psychological Evaluation
  8. Undergo Thorough Medical Evaluation
  9. Evaluation by the Bureau’s Chain of Command
  10. Attend the Police Academy

Step 1. Meet Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Before applying for Portland police jobs, you must first ensure you meet minimum eligibility requirements. All candidates for Portland police jobs, at the time of testing, must possess a high school diploma or GED; they must be at least 21 years old; and they must have at least ONE of the following:

  • A POST certificate accepted by the State or Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training
  • Three years of continuous service as a police officer in another police agency (must have been employed there within the last six months)
  • Two years of active duty or four years of reserve military duty with an honorable discharge
  • Two years of continuous service for an law enforcement (police) agency
  • An associate’s degree or at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) from an accredited college or university
  • Two years of continuous service in any law enforcement agency within the state of Oregon
  • Two years of service as a reserve police officer or police cadet

You will NOT be eligible for Portland police jobs if:

  • You cannot obtain a valid driver’s license
  • You have been convicted of a DUI within the last 3 years of have 2 or more DUI, reckless driving, attempting-to-elude, or hit-and-run convictions
  • You have been convicted of a felony
  • You will not be a U.S. citizen within one year of being hired
  • Your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended in the last 2 years
  • You have a dishonorable discharge from the military
  • You have a felony driving conviction in the last 2 years
  • You have been convicted a controlled substances crime
  • You have been convicted of domestic violence

Step 2. Apply for Employment

The best way to determine if the Portland Police Bureau is hiring is by checking the Portland Police Bureau’s Facebook page, which is constantly updated with hiring information.

All candidates with aspirations of becoming a police officer in Portland must apply online through governmentjobs.com. You will need to register first with the site.

It is important to check the Portland Police Bureau’s Facebook page often for notice of open registration. As soon as open registration begins, you will be able to answer online supplemental questions and fill out an online application to take the written test. Note: recruitments are typically limited to the first 200 applicants.

Step 3.  Take the Written Test

Once you have registered for the written test, you will receive a date and time at which to appear. The written test will assess your accuracy of observation; written communication skills; and reading and understanding. You may prepare for the written test by studying the Written Test Guide.

Step 4. Take the Physical Ability Test

Only those candidates who pass the written test will be scheduled to complete the physical ability test, which will assess your physical strength, endurance, and agility and coordination.  You may prepare for the physical ability test by studying the Physical Abilities Test Guide.

Step 5. Participate in the Oral Interview

Only those candidates who pass the physical ability test will be scheduled for the oral interview, which consists of 6 questions asked by a pass/fail panel interview of two sworn and one non-sworn Bureau members.

Step 6. Undergo a Background Investigation

Provided you have passed the oral interview, your background investigation will get underway. You will be expected to complete a Statement of Personal History and provide the Bureau with related documents as to facilitate the background investigation process.

Step 7. Undergo a Psychological Evaluation

Upon completion of the background investigation, all eligible candidates will undergo a psychological evaluation, which consists of a formal interview and testing with a licensed psychologist.

Step 8. Undergo Thorough Medical Evaluation

Candidates who pass the psychological evaluation are eligible to undergo a thorough medical and psychical examination, including a drug screen.

Step 9. Evaluation by the Bureau’s Chain of Command

Upon the successful completion of the above tests, candidates will be evaluated by the Portland Police Bureau’s Chain of Command, who will then offer select candidates a position with the Portland Police Bureau as a new recruit.

Step 10. Attend the Police Academy

All new recruits must successfully complete police academy training, followed by mandatory field training.

Becoming a Police Officer in Salem, Oregon

The Salem Police Department (503-588-6239) is made up of 187 sworn police officers who provide law enforcement and public safety services to the citizens of Salem, Oregon, through five divisions: Administration, Communications, Investigations, Patrol, and Support.

Individuals interested in becoming a police officer in Salem may use this guide for step-by-step instructions on how to become eligible for police officer jobs with the Salem Police Department:

  1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements
  2. Submit an Application for Employment
  3. Complete Writing Exercises
  4. Take the Physical Fitness Test
  5. Take the Oral Interview
  6. Take the Integrity Interview
  7. Receive a Conditional Job Offer and Complete Remaining Employment Testing
  8. Attend Police Academy Training

Step 1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements

Before applying for employment with the Eugene Police Department, you must meet minimum employment requirements. In particular, all candidates must:

  • Be at least 21 years old (at the time of appointment)
  • Be a high school graduate (or hold a GED)
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Possess a valid driver’s license

Step 2. Submit an Application for Employment

You can view current job openings and submit an employment application on the City of Salem website. You can email HR@cityofsalem.net or contact the HR Department at 503-588-6162 if you have any questions regarding the application process for attaining Salem police jobs.

Step 3.  Complete Writing Exercises

Candidates who meet minimum employment requirements and are contacted by the Department will be required to complete writing exercises. Candidates are shown a series of job-related videos and are then asked to complete a number of written prompts based on the material covered in the videos. The writing exercises are scored according to content, accuracy, grammar, and composition. Only those candidates who pass the writing exercises will be invited to continue the employment process.

Step 4. Take the Physical Fitness Test

The physical fitness test for Salem police jobs consists of 5 components, which are designed to assess a candidate’s strength and physical endurance:

  • 1.5-mile run (16:28 maximum)
  • 300-meter run (71 seconds maximum)
  • Push-ups (25 in one minute minimum)
  • Sit-ups (29 in one minute minimum)
  • Vertical jump (14 inches minimum)

You can review the minimum physical fitness standards before taking the test.

Step 5. Take the Oral Interview

Only those candidates who pass the physical fitness test are eligible to continue the employment process, which includes an oral interview. The oral interview is a structured interview during which you will be asked job-specific questions in front a panel of evaluators.

Step 6. Take the Integrity Interview

A team of trained investigators will ask you a set of questions related to all areas of your life. The answers provided in this interview are used to assist in the background investigation process, which is the next phase of the employment process for all qualified candidates.

Step 7. Receive a Conditional Job Offer and Complete Remaining Employment Testing

Upon the successful outcome of the background investigation, select candidates will receive a conditional offer of employment and will need to complete all remaining employment testing, which includes:

  • Physical examination
  • Vision test
  • Hearing test
  • Psychological examination
  • Drug test

Step 8. Attend Police Academy Training

All new recruits must complete police academy training through the Oregon Police Academy, followed by field training.

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