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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.
Open Cases, Certification Actions, Requesting Information
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 :
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.
How DPSST Learns of a Case
When DPSST learns an officer has been arrested or receives a criminal citation to appear, a professional standards 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).
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.
Most 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.
Determining the Next Steps in a Case
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:
If DPSST staff determine there was no moral fitness violations 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. Prior 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:
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 that 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.
Policy Committee Meeting
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:
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
Recommendation to take action
What Happens Next
Once a revocation has been finalized DPSST will:
Reporting an Arrest, Notifications, Surrendering Certifications, What Happens at the Policy Committe Meeting
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
firstname.lastname@example.org to satisfy the reporting requirements.
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.
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:
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)
The surrender results in the permanent revocation of all public safety professional certifications and permanent ineligibility to apply for new certifications in the future.
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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