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0315.00 Laws, Rules, and Orders

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number
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315.00 Laws, Rules, and Orders


  • City of Portland Human Resources Administrative Rules
  • Human Resources Administrative Rule 1.01, Duties and Authority of the Director of Human Resources
  • DIR 0010.00, Directives Manual
  • DIR 0330.00, Internal Affairs, Complaint Intake, and Processing 


  • Communication Restriction Order: An order issued during an investigation that prohibits indirect or direct communications among the involved member(s) and witness member(s) regarding the facts of the case.  This restriction will be given in writing and will be lifted in writing.
  • Directive:  A Portland Police Bureau official document that addresses both the policy and procedural sections for a specific topic.
  • Human Resources Administrative Rules (HRARs):  City of Portland standards that help ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and mandate or constrain employee action.  The Director of the Bureau of Human Resources is responsible for the development and revision of all HRARs.  The City Council or, when designated, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) has the final authority to approve and adopt all rules.
  • Orders: Written and/or verbal direction from any PPB member above the recipient’s rank or above the recipient in the chain of command.


1.      In order to further develop and maintain its legitimacy and to continually build its credibility with the public and within the Bureau, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) recognizes that correct and impartial enforcement of the law demands that Bureau members understand, comply with, and be held accountable to those same laws that apply to other members of the community.  Furthermore, Bureau members also have a responsibility to understand and comply with applicable City rules and Bureau orders and directives.  This policy establishes the expectation of the Bureau regarding member compliance with all laws and applicable rules, directives, and orders.


1.      Members shall acquire and maintain a thorough knowledge of city, state, and federal law, including elements constituting criminal acts and fundamental rules of evidence, through ongoing training and legal updates.

2.      Members shall not commit any act or fail to perform any act constituting a violation of any applicable laws, rules, and orders, whether stated in these directives or elsewhere.  

3.      Bureau Directives.

3.1.   Members are required to know and act in accordance with all PPB directives.

3.1.1.    Members shall electronically sign a statement acknowledging that they have received, read, and had an opportunity to ask questions about the new or revised directives within 30 calendar days of the Chief’s approval and prior to enactment, except as provided in Directive 0010.00, Directives Manual.  When PPB deems appropriate, members shall also successfully complete a knowledge check assessment within that same timeframe.     Timely acknowledgment of new or revised directives is an important job duty.  Members who fail to acknowledge new or revised directives within the prescribed timeline may be subject to corrective action and/or discipline.     Supervisors shall ensure that members have electronically signed and acknowledged directives within the designated timeframe.

3.1.2.    Members must know and comprehend standards as established within Bureau communications mediums issued by the Chief or the member’s Responsibility Unit Manager (e.g., orders, bulletins, tips and techniques, memoranda, etc.).  Upon returning to duty, members shall read all communications issued during their absence.

3.1.3.    Members having any question or uncertainty about any directive, standard, law, rule, or order will immediately seek clarification via the chain of command.

4.         Compliance with City of Portland HRARs.

4.1.   As employees of the City of Portland, all Bureau members, sworn and non-sworn, are subject to all City of Portland HRARs.  Therefore, members are expected to know and comply with all HRARs.

4.1.1.    Additionally, members shall be required to read and electronically acknowledge all critical HRARs, as defined by the Bureau of Human Resources.

4.2.   If there is a conflict between a citywide HRAR and a collective bargaining agreement, the collective bargaining agreement prevails.

5.      Bureau Orders.

5.1.   Members shall promptly obey any lawful written or verbal order of a supervisor.  This will include orders relayed from a supervisor by a member of the same or lesser rank.

5.1.1.    Members who are given an otherwise proper order that is in conflict with a pre­vious order shall respectfully inform the supervisor issuing the new order of the conflict.  When informed of the conflict, the supervisor shall determine the appropriate course of action and notify the member accordingly.  Under these circumstances, the responsibility for resolving the conflict shall be upon the supervisor issuing the new order, and members shall follow the supervisor’s resolved direction and shall not be held responsible for deviation from the previous order.

5.1.2.    If in doubt as to the legality of an order, members shall request the issuing supervisor to clarify the order or confer with higher authority.  Members shall not obey any order that a reasonable officer would believe is clearly unlawful.

6.       Notification Requirement.

6.1.   Members shall ensure that their direct supervisor or, if unavailable, an on-duty supervisor is notified as soon as practical when cited for a violation of law or regulation, other than a traffic infraction, when arrested for a criminal offense, if their driver’s license is suspended, if they become subject of or violate a restraining order, if they become aware they are a suspect in a law enforcement investigation, or if they become the subject of a Department of Public Safety Standards and Training investigation, suspension, or revocation proceeding.  This notification must occur within 24 hours, unless a method of communication is not available or the member is incapacitated.  In notifying a supervisor, members are not violating any Communication Restriction Order that may be in place.

7.      Bureau Chain of Command.

7.1.   Unless authority has been delegated otherwise, the chain of command is the established order of authority for members of the Bureau.  The Chief of Police is responsible for the placement of non-sworn members within the chain of command.  The chain of command for sworn members, in descending order, is:

7.1.1.    The Chief of Police,

7.1.2.    Deputy Chief,

7.1.3.    Assistant Chief,

7.1.4.    Commanders,

7.1.5.    Captain/Non-sworn Division Manager,

7.1.6.    Lieutenant/Non-sworn Administrative Supervisor (I or II),

7.1.7.    Sergeant,

7.1.8.    Detective/Criminalists,

7.1.9.    Police Officer.

Effective:              8/4/2023         

Next Review:       8/4/2024

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