Storm damage recovery

History of the Police Bureau

Outline of Police Badge
An overview of the Portland Police Bureau's history.


An ordinance is passed by City Council creating the Portland Metropolitan Police Force.  It is composed of six patrolmen, one lieutenant and a chief. Portland's population is 9,000.

The City Council appoints Phillip Saunders as its first chief of police.


The police commissioners order all officers to obtain and wear a standardized uniform consisting of a dark blue, single-breasted coat with velvet collar and brass buttons, matching vest and pantaloons, and a black hat of uniform style with cord and tassel.

A new police headquarters is dedicated at  S.W. 2nd andOak Street.  The three-story building houses police and commissioners’ offices, a men’s jail, and a detention section for women and children.


Officer Charles F. Schoppe is shot and killed in the Cozy Saloon while trying to disarm a drunken patron. He is the first Metropolitan Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty.


Police officer selection standards are put into effect.  The applicants have to be a   U.S. citizen, able to read and write English, a resident of Portland for one year, have no criminal record, be of good health, sound body and mind, at least 5'10," and weigh a minimum of 175  lbs.


Portland’s first horse patrol is established.


Lola Baldwin is named head of the newly formed women's division known as the Women’s Protective Division.  She is the first woman hired by an American municipality to carry out regular enforcement duties.


The Metropolitan Police Department's first automobile, a Pope-Hartford touring car, is purchased for patrol duty.

The first Motorcycle Squad is formed.


After 38 years of service, the original police headquarters building is razed and a new five-story building is erected at S.W. 2nd and Oak.

A charter amendment changes the name of the Metropolitan Police Force to the Bureau of Police.


The City ofSt. Johnsis annexed.  A police precinct is established in the formerSt. JohnsCity Hall, and later becomes known as North Precinct.


Leon V. Jenkins becomes chief of police.  He is recognized as one ofPortland's most innovative chiefs.  During his 14 years as chief, his accomplishments include:

  • Organizing the Traffic Division.
  • Instituting the "booth system" which assigns police officers to strategically located fire stations from which they can respond to calls for service.
  • CreatingPortland's first police academy and pioneering the use of the first police radio in theUnited States.
  • Initiating the use of a teletype system which connects all divisions of the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
  • Serving as Chairman of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Committee on Uniform Crime Reporting.  This committee is instrumental in establishing the system of uniform crime reports throughout theU.S.andCanada.


“Sunshine Boys,” forerunner of the Portland Police Bureau’s Sunshine Division, is formed by Mayor George Baker.


East Precinct is established at S.E. 7th and Alder.

Portlandis the first major police agency to report that 100 percent of its officers have completed the training academy course.


The first police radio transmitter in theUnited Statesis installed at East Precinct.


The police union is formed and is initially associated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.  Currently, it is independent and called the Portland Police Association.


A police precinct is established for two years onSwanIslanddue to the many shipyard workers living there during World War II.


APortlandpolice survey is conducted by August Vollmer, a nationally recognized criminologist.  The survey lists these major points:

  • Portland's rapid increase in population has led to an attendant increase in crime.
  • Police salaries are below an acceptable level.
  • The pension system is disgraceful.
  • The Traffic Division is over-staffed, with 26 percent of the patrol officers assigned to it.


The present pension system is approved by a vote of the people.


The new Multnomah Precinct opens for business atS.W. Moss Streetand35th Avenue.  The precinct operated for about six years.


Police Record Clerks are now part of the District Council of Trade Unions, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Local 189.


The Police Harbor Patrol Unit is disbanded and responsibilities are transferred to the Portland Fire Bureau and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

East Precinct moves from S.E. 7th and Alder to 4735 E. Burnside; this location was formerly a  Safeway store.


On August 9, Officer Dennis Darden is shot and killed.  The last time an officer was killed by gunfire was 33 years earlier.  Also during 1974, five other officers are wounded by gunfire.

In November, the Police Radio Division is deactivated; dispatching is transferred to   ECOC (EmergencyCommunicationsOperationsCenter) which later becomes the Bureau Of Emergency Communications (BOEC).


The mounted patrol is reactivated.


Due to the catastrophic eruption ofMt.St. Helens, the Portland Police Bureau develops a Volcano Emergency Plan to deal with the ash plumes and other problems associated with the volcano.


The Telephone Report Unit is established.


Central Precinct and the headquarters building at  S.W. 2nd and Oak closes.  Central Precinct and its headquarters is moved into the newJusticeCenterat1111  S.W. 2nd Avenue.

Neighborhood crime statistics are computerized and produced monthly.


Portlandannexes a large portion of MultnomahCountyand 56 Multnomah County Deputy Sheriffs are transferred to the Portland Police Bureau.

Penny Harrington becomesPortland’s first woman Chief of Police, and the first to head a major police department in theUnited States.


Police command become represented by the Portland Police Commanding Officers Association 

( PPCOA) in labor negotiations.

“Argus,” a German shepherd dog, becomesPortland's first canine to be killed in the line of duty when he is shot by a barricaded felon.


During the week of October 15, 1988, the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police is held inPortland; 7,290 people attend representing theUnited Statesand more than 40 foreign countries.


The City Council adopts the concept of community policing in a resolution.  A second resolution passed in October 1989 defines organizational issues and expected outcomes for a mandated Police Bureau implementation of community policing over a five-year period.

By November 1989, Mayor J. E. "Bud" Clark introduces, and the City Council approves, "Operation Jump Start" to hire 60 new officers, plus 40 additional officers to cover expected retirements.  With the support and commitment of the community and of the elected officials, the Bureau begins its transition to a community policing agency.


City Council adopts the Portland Police Bureau Community Policing Transition Plan.

The Portland Police Bureau is instrumental in forming the Police Activities League (PAL) of Greater Portland.

The Bureau forms an advisory panel consisting of police, business persons and neighborhood leaders to provide information and recommendations on current events and policy issues to the Chief of Police.  This panel becomes part of the Bureau’s structure known as the Chief’s Forum.

The Automatic Fingerprinting Information System ( AFIS) is established.  This increases the Bureau’s ability to identify fingerprints throughout the Western States.

Federal funding is obtained for the Landlord Training Program.

In December 1990, BOEC is completely staffed with civilian employees.

Contrary to a long-standing tradition, a detail from the Detectives Division is transferred to East Precinct.

A Bureau-wide internal newsletter is started to gather and distribute timely information related to the Bureau and community policing.

The Neighborhood Liaison Officer program ( NLO) is initiated in North Precinct.


The Detective Division creates the Bias Crime Unit to work with the community to prevent, identify, investigate and track bias crimes.

Hollywood Community Policing Contact Office becomes the first neighborhood office staffed by volunteers to provide assistance to both police and civilians.

In-service training is re-instituted and focuses on building skills to help personnel implement the goals of community policing.

The Awards Committee is restructured to reflect participation by all employee groups and to reflect participation by community members.


The Family Services Division is created and includes specialists regarding domestic abuse, elder abuse and child abuse.

The Information and Referral unit is created as another important component of a calls for service differential response system.  The unit operates the Police Information Line and the Rumor Control Line.

The Portland Police Bureau receives a major grant from the National Institute of Justice to assess community policing performance measures.

More than 500 people from 35 states and three countries assemble for the National Community Policing Conference: Sharing the Vision, Building the Future, hosted and organized by the Portland Police Bureau.


Charles A. Moose, Ph.D. becomesPortland’s first African-American chief of police on June 29.

The City Council adopts an ordinance authorizing police to tow cars if a driver cannot show proof of insurance.

The Family Services Division Domestic Violence Reduction Unit creates its mission and selects a sergeant and five officers to begin work in helping domestic violence victims with processing complaints and restraining orders.

Combined Oregon Justice Imaging Network ( COJIN), a computerized information storage and retrieval system, is established to help access mug pictures, descriptive data, and arrest information on suspects booked into custody. COJIN is also known as X-Image.

The Portland Police Bureau’s employee survey on job satisfaction is distributed to all employees.

ThePortlandPoliceCitizensPoliceAcademyholds its first class in September.

The Bureau adopts the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program (DARE), and the Gang Resistance Education And Training Program (GREAT).


A new precinct is opened inNortheast Portlandand East Precinct is divided into two precincts--East and Southeast--for a total of 5 precincts.

By the end of 1994, more than 80 problem solving partnership agreements among citizens, police, businesses, and other agencies have been signed and recorded.

The Oregonian, in conjunction with other state and city agencies, starts the Inside Line to offer crime prevention information and crime statistics accessible by telephone.


After studying theMemphis,Tenn., model of crisis intervention, the Bureau develops the Crisis Intervention Team program and trains its first 60 officers as CIT members.  

In order to better respond to victims, families and community members after violent crime, a Bureau officer and community volunteers create a Crisis Response Team to work with families involved in critical incidents inNortheast Portland.  


The police responds immediately to a hostage/shooting incident at the Church of Scientology in Downtown Portland in the fall of 1996.  Within a short amount of time, the injured are dispatched to area hospitals and the gunman surrendered with no fatalities.

An armed gunman storms the KOIN Center in the afternoon of January 4, 1996.  The performance of all involved, from the initial responding officers to the negotiators, to the containment and arrest of the suspect by the Special  Emergency Reaction Team (SERT), are outstanding.  No lives are lost, and the gunmen surrenders peacefully.

Police Bureau invites 30 community leaders to an organizational meeting of the African-American Advisory Committee on October 30, 1996. 

The Police Bureau moves into two new precincts: East is newly constructed and Southeast is remodeled. 

The Bureau creates its first home page on the World Wide Web. 

The Police Bureau adopts an external employee assistance program, replacing the Chaplain’s office.

The rank of detective is eliminated and all current detectives are merged into the rank of Sergeant.


The Police Bureau is awarded an $8 million grant to hire 60 police officers paid to be funded by the federal COPS Grant. 

The Portland Police Bureau obtains a COPS grant and hires 42 civilian desk clerks.

The Bureau’s first class of Police Corps graduates. 

After more than 18 years since Portland Police Bureau employees lose a coworker in the line of duty, Officer Jeffries dies on July 21, while trying to apprehend a suspect wanted for allegedly shooting a seven-year old boy.  


The Computer Crimes Detail unit becomes operational, and includes two full-time investigator positions and two part-time investigator positions. 

The Police Bureau’s Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) obtains a new state-of-the-art vehicle for responding to all EDU calls.   

The Police Bureau acquires AR-15 rifles and began training its officers on usage.

The Police Bureau begins Operation 80, an aggressive effort to hire 80 officers between fall 1998 and February 1999. 

During a routine effort by the Marijuana Task Force, Officer Colleen Waibel becomes the city’s first woman police officer to be killed in the line of duty and the second Portland officer to be killed in more than 18 years.  During the violent incident, Officer Kim Keist is seriously wounded and Sgt. Jim Hudson is shot in the hand. 

In June 1998, the Police Bureau receives the distinct honor of being the Grand Marshal of the Grand Floral Parade.


Portland Police Bureau officers begin patrolling areas in Portland in all terrain vehicles (ATVs). 

The Portland Police Bureau takes command of the 20-member school police force.

The Day Watch, the day care center located in the Justice Center, opens and is used by Bureau employees for permanent and part-time care. 

Portland Police Bureau Chief of Police Charles A. Moose, Ph.D. resigns in summer 1999 to become the Police Chief ofMontgomery County,Maryland.  Assistant Chief Lynnae C. Berg is chosen to be the Interim Chief. In December 1999, Mayor Vera Katz announces Mark A. Kroeker is chosen as the new chief. He is sworn in on December 17, 1999.


The Bureau issues a report regarding their response to a series of protest demonstrations on May 1, 2000. 


Chief Kroeker initiates a weekly language and cultural training program for officers.

In response to a recommendation from the Chief’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Racial Profiling, officers start collecting data regarding a person’s perceived race, perceived gender, perceived age, reason for the stop, disposition, and results of a search.  Information is entered before clearing a stop. 

The Portland Police Foundation is a nonprofit entity is  founded by Chief Kroeker and members ofPortland's business community. 

The Rapid Response Team (RRT) is created to better respond to crowd control and other tactical incidents. 

Chief Kroeker implements a 4-10 shift for Operations Branch.

The Police Bureau revises the policies and procedures manual, condensing its size from two four-inch thick binders to a 5½ x 8½-inch manual, less than one-inch thick. 


Chief Kroeker establishes the Arab/Muslim Police Advisory Council to gain input and create an ongoing dialog between the Police Bureau and the Arab and Muslim communities. 

On June 1, the Police Bureau signs a partnership agreement with the Sexual Minority Roundtable.   

The Portland Police Bureau celebrates 150 years of dedicated service to the communities of Portland. 

The Bureau implements training for all personnel through standardized videos and lesson plans. 

The Bureau launches an internal website that provides timely information to all Bureau personnel. 

The Mounted Patrol Unit begins operating out of the new Mounted Patrol Equestrian Facility. 

On May 26, Officer Kirk R. Huffstetler is killed when his police vehicle struck a concrete wall, while responding to a robbery call.


The Bureau begins a trial use of Tasers.

The Police Bureau produces a matrix outlining the Bureau’s response to an independent report requested by city Council (PARC). 

Derrick Foxworth named Chief of Police

Mayor Vera Katz names Derrick Foxworth Chief of Police on August 29.   


Two detectives and one detective sergeant from the Homicide Detail joined with an agent from the FBI and an investigator from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office create a Cold Case Homicide Detail

The Kenton Community Policing Office opens.

Chief Foxworth restructures and starts a Latino Advisory Committee.   

The Police Bureau responded to the 89 recommendations from PARC dealing with officer involved shootings and in-custody death incidents and implemented changes to Bureau policy and procedure on training, and investigation protocols in response to PARC’s report. 

The Bureau begins using Use of Force and Performance Review boards.

A new Use of Force Report Form is adopted in August 2004. 


The Police Bureau deployed Tasers to precincts and divisions.    

Officers begin patrolling by bikes in Central Precinct and Southeast Precinct.


The Central Precinct Street Crimes Unit (SCU) forms to conduct livability crime enforcement missions.  

Every Police Bureau member is given an email address. 

Four sworn with the rank of lieutenant and above receive extensive training in all areas of critical incident response and will be the incident commander for specific emergency responses. 

Mayor Potter appoints Rosanne M. Sizer as Interim Police Chief, and on July 13, 2006, she is sworn in as the City ofPortland's Chief of Police.  


The Police Bureau institutes on-going crisis intervention training for all officers.  

The Bureau participates in TopOff 4, a full scale exercise planned by the Department of Homeland Security to improve preparedness and response capabilities.  


East Precinct Officers refurbish a building donated by the Rossi Family and turn it into a community policing contact office

The Bureau launches a new online crime and mapping tool that provides easy to read incident crime maps and automated alerts to citizens ofPortland(

The Bureau’s Identification Division changes its name to Forensic Evidence Division.

A new self defense program, GirlStrength, a sister program to WomenStrength is offered to young women 13 years of age and older.   

The new Property Evidence facility in the Northwest Industrial area of Portland is opened.


The Bureau begins using social media as a communication tool (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube).

Due to budget restrictions, the Bureau restructures to three precincts: East, North (formerly Northeast) and Central. 

The Training Division moves to the former North Precinct and the Traffic Division moves to the former Southeast Precinct.

WomenStrength celebrates 30 years of providing free self defense classes to women.

The first Community Academyi s conducted.

The Mobile Crisis Unit begins a pilot project.


Police Bureau introduces new citizen online reporting system.

Chief Michael Reese is appointed Chief in May 2010.


The Department of Justice (DOJ) begins an investigation regarding the patterns and practices of the Portland Police Bureau

The Portland Police-Bangladesh Community Policing program begins.

The Police Bureau introduces re-designed vehicles with old logo “Sworn to Protect-Dedicated to Serve” and a Twitter handle.

The Police Bureau sworn members’ uniforms are redesigned.


Southeast Precinct is re-opened as a sub-precinct.

The Bureau’s first ever training facility opens--prior to remodel.


The Bureau's Training Complex Opens as a remodeled facility, including a village for scenarios and ranges.

Chief Michael Reese announces he will retire, effective January 2, 2015.

Mayor Charlie Hales announces Assistant Chief Larry O'Dea (Operations) will become the next Chief of Police.


Chief Larry O'Dea is sworn in as Portland's 45th Chief of Police in an informal ceremony on January 2, 2015 and a formal ceremony on January 8, 2015.


Chief Danielle Outlaw is sworn in as Portland's 46th Chief of Police in an informal ceremony on October 2, 2017, and a formal ceremony on January 22, 2018.