There are two critical components of the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) mission that work together to promote excellence in Oregon’s public safety professions — delivering quality training and upholding professional standards. DPSST training helps public safety providers protect their communities. Upholding professional standards ensures the integrity of Oregon’s criminal justice system by ensuring that officers meet and maintain all established training, physical, emotional, intellectual and moral fitness standards for all public safety disciplines.
In addition to statutes set by the Oregon State Legislature, DPSST’s overall mission is guided by the 24-member Board on Public Safety Standards and Training, and six discipline-specific, public safety policy committees. The board and committees are integrally involved in setting the agency’s Oregon Administrative Rules, which legally guide the implementation of our statutory obligations; the board and committees also provide input into, and make decisions regarding training standards and certification requirements; they review individual certification cases; and, they help set the agency’s high-level goals for the future. The board and committees meet quarterly.
DPSST certifies more than 5,500 full-time law enforcement professionals in Oregon who work for city, county, state, tribal, university, railroad police agencies.
Since August 1, 2017 (the effective date of Board’s expanded authority to review discretionary misconduct), 180 police officers or police officer applicants have had their eligibility for certifications reviewed (23 of those from the Portland Police Bureau).
Of those 180 reviews, the Board took final action against 67 police officers. (62 revoked or denied – 8 from the Portland Police Bureau; 5 suspensions).
Of those 67 actions:
- 4 involved female police officers;
- 30 were for off-duty conduct;
- 15 officers held Supervisory or above certifications
- 51 had over 10 years experience as a police officer;
- 19 over 25 years experience as a police officer
- 12 involved alcohol or drug use;
- 17 involved sexual conduct;
- 4 involved domestic violence; and
- 23 involved an element of dishonesty.
Oregon law enforcement officers who are decertified by DPSST are also entered into the the National Decertification Index (NDI) of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) which is a national registry of certificate or license revocation actions related to officer misconduct as reported by participating state government agencies. The NDI currently contains 28,555 actions reported by 45 certifying agencies as not all states issue certification to law enforcement officers and not all states have the ability to revoke or suspend police officer certifications, Oregon does both.
In accordance with HB 4207 passed during the recent special session of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, DPSST has created and published a statewide, online database of DPSST Professional Standards actions. The database includes the names of all public safety officers who have been the subject of a DPSST certification action, their employing agency (when applicable), and a link to the DPSST investigation and Final Order once issued (which will include a description of the facts underlying the denial, suspension or revocation action) occurring on or after June 30, 2020 (The effective date of HB 4207). For broader transparency, a listing of all individuals who were the subject of a DPSST professional standards action prior to June, 2020 has also been published, along with a list of open, pending DPSST professional standards cases. The database can be found on-line at https://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/cj/pages/professionalStandards.aspx
DPSST Director Eriks Gabliks said “There have been many questions and concerns raised about policing in our state and nation. Many of the questions within our state have been regarding the training and accountability of Oregon law enforcement officers. To address these questions, to share information, and to answer questions, DPSST held a number of virtual sessions specifically for local community leaders, elected officials, state legislators, and media. One session addressed Oregon’s criminal justice professional standards system. Another focused specifically on police use of force training in Oregon offered by DPSST. And the last covered the basic police training program offered at DPSST to all newly hired city, county, state, tribal, and university law enforcement professionals. Participants had the ability to ask questions of DPSST staff during each of these sessions.” Each of the sessions were recorded and have been posted for viewing on the DPSST webpage at https://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/CJ/Pages/InformationalFiles.aspx