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Career in Criminal Justice

Career in Criminal Justice as an Oregon Public Safety Professional

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Public Safety Standards & Training (DPSST). We set the minimum standards and operate the Basic Academy courses for public safety agencies in Oregon. Based on Oregon law, anyone attending the academy for training must first be employed by an Oregon police, corrections, parole & probation agency, or a public safety dispatch center. 

All public safety employees undergo an extensive background investigation, psychological and physical exams. Each agency has different hiring requirements. For more information regarding hiring practices, please contact the agency you would like to work with. You will find links to most Oregon Public Safety agencies on the List of Law Enforcement Agencies in Oregon from Wikipedia or the Oregon 911 centers (Public Safety Access Point-PSAP) from Oregon APCO-NENA

Once you become employed as a police officer, corrections officer, parole & probation officer, OLCC regulatory specialist, or 911 dispatcher, you must complete the basic academy training at the Department of Public Safety Standards & Training. Keep in mind, there are no self-sponsored basic law enforcement or dispatch classes offered in the state of Oregon. 

In addition to the requirements above, Basic Police students must meet specific and measurable standards with respect to physical conditioning during their Basic Police Course. You can review these standards on the DPSST ORPAT web page. 

To enhance your employability for a career in law enforcement, consider approaching your local police department, county sheriff's office, community corrections facility, or 911 dispatch centers about volunteer opportunities. 

If you are interested in police work, you may wish to become a reserve police officer and attend a reserve academy hosted by a local agency. This is a good way to see the job firsthand and experience. Many agencies offer citizens academies which develop citizen awareness and understanding of the role of law enforcement in the community. 

Having an Associate or Bachelor's degree will help you stand out from other applicants for an available position. Many agencies require a two or four-year degree to apply or promote once on the job. Common criminal justice career degrees are Criminal Justice, Sociology, Criminology, Psychology, and Communications. Any degree will enhance your chances for employment and will demonstrate your willingness to work hard and put in the time to learn new things. 

Again, thank you for your interest in the Department of Public Safety Standards & Training. We wish you success in your career and look forward to seeing you at an academy training in the future. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us at (503) 378-4411.