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Professional Standards

Professional Standards

DPSST's Criminal Justice Professional Standards Unit exists to ensure individuals applying for and holding DPSST certification are above reproach.  Professional Standards is responsible for the denial or revocation of certifications held by public safety professionals who do not meet, or fall below the Board’s standards.

All individuals certified in a criminal justice discipline are subject to the Board’s moral fitness standards.  This includes police, corrections, parole & probation, OLCC regulatory specialists, Telecommunicators and Emergency Medical Dispatchers.  These individuals are referred to as public safety officers.  All professional standards cases are unique and handled on a case by case basis.

All records related to DPSST’s professional standards cases are subject to Oregon’s Public Records Law. 

The following information is made available In recognition of the importance of ensuring the transparency of  DPSST’s professional standards processes :

  • Online Database of DPSST Certification Actions (complies with 2020 HB 4207
  • A list of open, pending Professional Standards Cases​.  
    • ​This list is updated monthly. Inclusion on this list simply indicates that DPSST has opened a professional standards case due to the receipt of information indicating that an officer may have engaged in behavior that violates an established standard. Inclusion on this list is not proof of misconduct. (NOTE: ORS 192.345(35)​ exempts all DPSST records relating to investigations into potential violations of Board standards from disclosure until a final report is issued pursuant to ORS 181A.640.)
  • ​​Criminal Justice Information Records Inquiry System (IRIS)
    • ​A searchable database of all DPSST certification, training and employment records relating to public safety officers in Oregon. 
  • ​Policy Committee and Board meeting minutes and agendas can be viewed on the Board/Policy Committee Page​. 
  • Individuals can subscribe to DPSST’s notification system, GovDelivery, to receive agency updates, meeting announcement, public comment opportunities, etc. 

Any record not made available through these links can be requested by submitting a public records request. Visit our Public Records​ page for information on how to submit a public records request, along with the Agency’s guiding policies and procedures and fee schedule. 

​Professional standards cases are opened when DPSST receives information that an officer has been arrested or recieves a criminal citation to appear; terminated from an agency; resigned/retired from an agency during an investigation or as a result of a settlement agreement; directed by a policy committee to open a case as a result of certain complaints; dismissed from the Oregon Public Safety Academy, and falsification.  

Having a professional standards case open does not mean the officer has violated the Board’s moral fitness standards.​ It simply means DPSST has learned of one of the above instances and needs to look further into the situation.

​Arrests/Criminal Citations

When DPSST learns an officer has been arrested or receives a criminal citation to appear​, a professional standard​s case is opened immediately.  Officers are required to report an arrest or criminal citation to appear to DPSST within 5 days; however DPSST also monitors news reports to learn of arrests and can also be notified​ by the employing agency, a district attorney, the public, or can receive notification through Oregon’s Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS)*.

DPSST does not proceed with the case until there is a final disposition.  This basically means if the officer is convicted of an offense or if it is dismissed. Once there is a final disposition, DPSST will begin processing the case by requesting court documents and arrest records.

*It is important to note that arrests received through LEDS are limited only to Oregon arrests.  Federal regulations prevent DPSST from accessing arrests through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).​​​

​Employment Separations

Agencies are required to report the reason an officer separates from employment and to indicate whether or not the officer separated as a result of a settlement agreement, during an investigation, in lieu of termination, or if the officer resigned/retired amid allegations that the agency wasn’t able to investigate.

DPSST reviews each separation to determine if there is a possibility of a moral fitness violation. If it is determined there may be moral fitness violations, DPSST will open a case and request the investigatory documents from the employer to conduct a review.​​​​  Note:  ORS 181A.670​ requires that public safety employers provide DPSST with all documentation used to make the decision to terminate the employee and provides ​protections against liability to those employers for disclosing this information.​​​​​​

Student Dismissal

If a student is dismissed from the Oregon Public Safety Academy, DPSST will automatically open a professional standards case and request the investigatory records and conduct a review.​​​​​​

Complaints

M​ost complaints are handled through our complaint process​.  Founded complaints received​ for individuals not currently employed or elected officials are sent to the policy committee to provide direction to DPSST on how to handle the complaint.  This may result in opening a professional standards case.​​​

​Falsification

​Professional standards cases will be opened if and officer has been found to have falsified information provided to DPSST​​.​​


DPSST will review the employment investigatory documents or police and court records to make a determination if the officer’s conduct violates the Board's moral fitness standard.  There are three possible outcomes to the DPSST review: 

Administrative Closure

If DPSST staff determine there was no moral fitness violation​s in a case or if they cannot prove the case by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not), they will recommend administrative closure to the policy committee.  Prio​​r to the meeting staff will provide the committee members with a staff report that summarizes the officer’s conduct and reason for recommending administrative closure.  The policy committee will vote to approve or deny staff’s recommendation for administrative closure.

If the recommendation is approved, staff will close the case and notify the officer of the case status. If the recommendation is denied, staff will prepare the case for discretionary review at the next policy committee meeting.  

Note:  DPSST has the authority to close two types of cases without committee approval:

  • Deferred adjudications for Driving Under the Influence (DUII) if the final disposition resulted in a dismissal, and
  • Cases where an officer is no longer employed and not certified.  DPSST will open a case if the officer is hired at another criminal justice public safety agency.  Oregon agencies are required to check DPSST records during their employment background process.  Visit our Backgrounds ​page for more information on resources for background investigators.

Mandatory Cases

​​Mandatory cases are cases require immediate revocation of certification and include items such as offences that can be punishable as a felony or carry a term of imprisonment of more than one year.  You can view a full list of mandatory revocation cases in Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 259-008-0300 (2) There is no policy committee review for mandatory cases, the officer will receive a notice of DPSST’s intent to revoke their certification and, unless a hearing is requested, the officer’s public safety certifications will be revoked 20 days after issuance of the notice.​


Discretionary Cases

Discretionary cases require review by the Policy Committee and Board on Public Safety Standards and Training. OAR 259-008-0300(3)​ details the elements that require discretionary review.  Prior to the policy committee meeting, committee members will receive a staff report that summarizes the moral fitness violation(s) along with the documentation used by DPSST staff to make the determination tha​​t moral fitness violation exists along with any written mitigation received by the officer.  Please visit our Board and Policy Committee Page​ for more information about the board and committee members along with agendas and ​meeting minutes.​​​​​

DPSST live streams policy committee meetings, via Facebook​. You can sign up to receive policy committee agendas by subscribing to the professional standards group via our GovDelivery notification system. All records provided to the committee can be requested according to Oregon’s public records laws.  Please visit our Public Records page to learn more about our public records​​ process.   

DPSST staff will present the case to the committee, which may include a 5 minute verbal statement from the officer or their representative. The policy committee will proceed with the discussion of the case, considering the officers conduct, as well as any aggravating or mitigating circumstances.​

After discussion, the following votes will occur: 

  1. ​The committee will vote to adopt the staff report or ask staff for additional information. There is a possibility that the case could be held over to another committee meeting if the verbal statement or information contained in the staff report requires further fact checking.
  2. The committee will then vote to recommend whether​ the Board should take action against the officers certification.
    • ​​​If the recommendation is to not take action, the case review is complete and the recommendation to not revoke will be sent to the Board for their review and decision. 
    • ​If the recommendation is to revoke, the committee will discuss and vote on the length of time the officer will be ineligible to hold public safety certification in Oregon. This ineligibility period can range from 3 years to a lifetime depending on the specific circumstances of the case. After this vote, the case review is complete and the recommendation to revoke, along with the recommended ineligibility period, will be sent to the Board for their review and decision. 
​​​​NOTE – The Policy Committee decision is a recommendation only. An officers certifications are not impacted until after the Board approves the recommendation.​


DPSST live streams the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training meetings, via Facebook​.  You can sign up to receive Board agendas by subscribing to our Professional Standards group via our GovDelivery ​notification system.  All records provided to the Board can be requested according to Oregon’s public records laws. Please visit our Public Records page to learn more about our public records process. 

​The Board will review all materials that were presented at the committee meeting, including a transcript of the officer’s verbal statement (if provided), and make a decision to affirm or deny the policy committee’s recommendation.   

Recommendation to NOT take action

  • If the recommendation is affirmed, DPSST will close the officers case with no further action.
  • If the recommendation is not affirmed, the Board will send the case back with instructions to the policy committee.

Recommendation to take action

  • If the recommendation is affirmed, DPSST will proceed with administrative due process as outlined in the Notice of Intent to Revoke that was issued following the Policy Committee meeting.  
  • If the recommendation is not affirmed, the Board will send the case back with instructions to the policy committee.

Once a revocation has been finalized DPSST will:

  • Post the information about the r​​evocation along with the staff reports and final order to the Revocations Page​.
  • Report the revocation to the National D​ecertification Index (NDI).  For more information on NDI, visit our Backgrounds page.
  • Add the case to the DPSST Ethics Bulletin​ training document.
  • Update IRIS to re​flect the individual has been revoked.
Note: A revocation is not finalized until all contested case process have been exhausted.

Reporting an Arrest​

Officers are required to report an arrest or criminal citation to appear within 5 days of the incident.  Please submit the Criminal History Reporting (F28) form to cjcertifications@state.or.us to satisfy the reporting requirements.  

Notifications

When DPSST opens a case, the officer and agency will receive an letter notifying them of the existence of a professional standards case.  At case open DPSST will also send a separate letter requesting employment investigatory or police and court documents.  Some information may not be available due to court processes or contesting employment separations.  DPSST will not proceed on the case until the employment or criminal matters are finalized.

Once all documents have been received, DPSST will review and make it's determination ​of the case (administrative closure, mandatory revocation, discretionary policy committee review).  If the case moves to discretionary policy committee reivew, the officer will receive a mitigation letter that explains the process, detailing when the date of the committee meeting and relevant facts being presented to the committee.  The officer then has the opportunity to submit written mitigation for the policy committee's consideration.  

Surrendering Certifications

A public safety professional may request DPSST accept the surrender of their certifications for any reason. When considering whether to accept the request to surrender, DPSST will request​ information from the individual’s current/former employer or conduct its own investigation to determine if the individual has engaged in conduct that violates the Board’s moral fitness standards.

Once a surrender has been accepted by DPSST: 

  1. The individual may no longer perform the duties of a certifiable public safety professional. (Includes: Telecommunicator, Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Parole and Probation, Corrections, Police and Regulatory Specialists)
  2. The surrender results in the permanent revocation of all public safety professional certifications and permanent ineligibility to apply for new certifications in the future.
​​At the Policy Committee Meeting

Officers will be provided the opportunity to provide a verbal statement to the policy committee​, attend the committee meeting as a member of the public, or view the meeting live on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DPSSTOregon​.  Officers wishing to attend in person or provide a verbal statement will be provided a document ​that explains the policy committee process.  ​​​​​​




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