Ore. board steps in to offset lack of available training academies for new LEO recruits By:


By Ashley Silver

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police welcomed 20 new officers in September, leaving them with a bittersweet predicament – making sure the “demand doesn’t outweigh the state training department’s ability to supply” when it comes to hiring officers and securing them a spot in crowded training academies.

According to KPIC 4 News, while the department is excited to acquire new recruits, local police academies are overflowing and there are no open slots in upcoming academies for new officers. For Portland’s new recruits, the next available academy is not until March of next year.

“Sometimes the demand outweighs our ability to supply, and that is, that is where we find ourselves today,” Brian Henson, acting director of the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST), told KPIC 4 News.

KPIC 4 reported that according to Oregon law, officers are required to start their training within 90 days of hire. At the start of the two-year legislative term in Oregon, state representatives approved funding for 16 police academies, with each academy class holding up to 40 students. This proved insignificant, causing a delay in getting vital officers out on the street amid nationwide police staffing shortages.

“Everybody would like the students in class as soon as possible because it helps with the operational needs of the organizations they’ve been hired into, and it also means that, that we are getting trained police officers out there on the street faster,” Henson said.

In a proactive move, Henson visited the state legislature and requested two additional pieces of trainings to be added to the calendar this biennium and the emergency board agreed, approving $1,280,000 in funding for the two additional academies.

“My anticipation is that the first class will be put in in January. If it is not January, the next available hole is April, but January is the target,” Henson told KPIC 4 News.

Although Henson and the DPSST were successful in adding the two new academy times, the agency plans to request additional training courses be added in order to meet the 90-day training policy outlined in Oregon law.

“Under the current hiring models, no, we will not be able to get to that 90-day window probably until sometime in the middle of next biennium, maybe to the end of next biennium. It just depends on how those trends carry out,” Henson told KPIC 4 News.