Career and Education Opportunities for Police Officers in Portland, Oregon
If you want to be a police officer, the Portland, Oregon area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 640 working police officers in Oregon; this should grow by 8% to 690 working police officers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for police officers, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.6% over the next eight years. In general, police officers conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
Police officers earn about $31 per hour or $65,500 annually on average in Oregon and about $29 hourly or $60,910 annually on average nationally. Incomes for police officers are better than in the overall category of Police and Security in Oregon, and better than the overall Police and Security category nationally. Police officers work in a variety of jobs, including: forgery/fraud investigator, vice investigator, and homicide investigator.
There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the Portland area, including two within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career as a police officer. Given that the most common education level for police officers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a police officer if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Police Officer
In general, police officers conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
Police officers furnish testimony as a witness in court. They also examine records and governmental agency files to discover identifying data about suspects. Equally important, police officers have to participate or help in raids and arrests. They are often called upon to record progress of investigation, maintain informational files on suspects, and submit reports to commanding officer or magistrate to authorize warrants. They are expected to obtain evidence from suspects. Finally, police officers furnish data to lab staff concerning the source of an item of evidence and tests to be performed.
Every day, police officers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.
It is important for police officers to obtain summary of incident from officer in charge at crime scene, taking care to avoid disturbing evidence. They are often called upon to examine crime scenes to obtain clues and evidence, such as loose hairs or weapons. They also organize scene search, assigning specific tasks and areas of search to individual officers and obtaining adequate lighting as needed. They are sometimes expected to secure persons at scene, keeping witnesses from conversing or leaving the scene before investigators arrive. Somewhat less frequently, police officers are also expected to secure deceased body and obtain evidence from it, preventing bystanders from tampering with it before medical examiner's arrival.
Police officers sometimes are asked to summon medical help for injured individuals and alert medical staff to take statements from them. They also have to be able to check victims for signs of life And finally, they sometimes have to analyze completed police reports to establish what additional data and investigative work is needed.
Like many other jobs, police officers must have exceptional integrity and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland include:
- Chief of Police. Supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
- Correctional Officer. Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
- Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
- Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
- Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
- Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
- Police Records Officer. Collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
- Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
- Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.
- Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.
- Transportation Security Officer. Inspect baggage or cargo and screen passengers to detect and prevent potentially dangerous objects from being transported into secure areas or onto aircraft.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Police Officer Training
Pioneer Pacific College - Wilsonville, OR
Pioneer Pacific College, 27501 SW Parkway Ave, Wilsonville, OR 97070-9296. Pioneer Pacific College is a small college located in Wilsonville, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,123 students. Pioneer Pacific College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated sixty-six students in 2008.
Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR
Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated zero and seven students respectively in 2008.
Certified Medical Investigator: The spectrum of professions involved in forensic investigation has broadened dramatically over the past 20 years.
For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.
Certified Corrections Manager - Security Threat Groups: Individuals who head a Security Threat Group (STG) program in an adult or juvenile corrections facility, contribute to the development of agency policies/procedures pertaining to STGs, and are involved in the implementation of these policies/procedures.
For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.
Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.
For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.
Computer Forensics: The primary goals we have for our certification programs are to both assist law enforcement and organizations requiring highly skilled investigators in the identification of highly skilled individuals, and to promote the training and education efforts within the computer investigation, computer forensic and computer security industries.
For more information, see the Cyber Enforcement Resources Incorporated website.
Certified Cyber-Crime Expert: High-profile cases of corporate malfeasance and increased attention paid to cybercrime and cyberterrorism have elevated electronic evidence discovery to an indispensable component of any organization's security plan.
For more information, see the E-Business Process Solutions website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Oregon
Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.
Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.