0612.00 Communication Technology and Procedures

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number
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0612.00 Communication Technology and Procedures


  • Bureau of Emergency Communications Policy & Procedure 7.001 Police Dispatch
  • Directive 0310.00 Professional Conduct and Courtesy
  • Directive 0220.11 Confidential Information
  • Radio Code List (Intranet)


  • Priority 1 Calls: Occurring/Imminent Danger to Life.
  • Priority 2 Calls: Occurring/Potential Threat to Person.
  • Priority 3 Calls: Occurring/Potential Threat to Property.
  •  Priority 4 Calls: Expedited Response.
  • Priority 5 Calls: Escalation Priority for Holding Calls.
  • Priority 6 Calls: Routine Response.
  • Priority 7 Calls: As-Available Response.


1.      Radios and other communication tools are essential tools for Portland Police Bureau members to safeguard the public, investigate criminal acts, apprehend suspects, and respond to emergencies. This policy directs members in the appropriate use of radios, Mobile Data Computers (MDCs), and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), as well as working with the Bureau of Emergency Communication (BOEC).


1.      Radio Use.

1.1.            Member Responsibilities.

1.1.1.             Members working in patrol capacity are responsible for monitoring radio traffic on their assigned net, unless it is not feasible (attending court, conducting sensitive interviews etc.).

1.1.2.             Members working in a patrol capacity will be subject to priority 1 and 2 calls at any time they are on duty and available. Members will clear off low priority calls when feasible to respond to pending priority 1 and 2 calls.

1.1.3.             When dispatched to calls members will announce they are on scene, either by radio or MDC as soon as feasible.

1.1.4.             Members will keep their radio transmissions as concise as practicable.

1.1.5.             Members shall communicate in plain language, except for the use of approved 10 codes, clearance codes, and sensitive incident codes, located on the Bureau Intranet.

1.1.6.             Members who are unable to communicate via radio due to equipment malfunctions will disengage from the public as soon as feasible and notify their supervisor. Until the problem is resolved members will not take police action unless it is a life safety matter.

1.1.7.             Members entering an area known to have limited or no radio service will advise dispatch.  

1.1.8.             If a member disputes a call prioritization, or believes a denial of service is warranted, they will direct the matter to their supervisor rather than a BOEC dispatcher.

1.1.9.             Members will make every attempt not to engage in verbal altercations with other members or dispatchers on radio talk groups.

1.1.10.         All member communications must comport with Directive 0310.00, Professional Conduct and Courtesy.

1.1.11.         As stated in Directive 0220.11, Confidential Information, members will not use radio channels for personal communication.

1.2.            Traffic Stops.

1.2.1.             Prior to initiating a traffic stop members shall, when feasible, attempt to check the vehicle’s license plate by MDC, and then provide the following information by radio or MDC: Unit number, vehicle license plate or description, and location.

1.3.            Subject Stops.

1.3.1.             Members shall, when feasible, provide their unit number and location via radio or MDC prior to initiating the stop.

1.4.            Supervisor Responsibilities.

1.4.1.             Supervisors working in a patrol capacity are responsible for monitoring radio traffic on their assigned net, unless it is not feasible (attending court, conducting sensitive interviews etc.).

1.4.2.             Supervisors will raise or lower call priorities as dictated by the circumstances of the call.

1.4.3.             Supervisors will notify BOEC when staffing, or other constraints, require a modified police response such as responding to priority calls only.

1.4.4.             Supervisors are solely responsible for all denials of service, and the supervisor’s name or unit number will be entered into the call along with the reason for the denial.            Supervisors or their designee shall attempt to notify callers wanting contact of the denial of service and the reason. Supervisors may designate a caller for no additional notifications during a shift if the caller continues to call back and or is abusive to members or BOEC staff.

2.      Mobile Data Computer and Computer Aided Dispatch Use.

2.1.            Members will comply with all laws and regulations regarding computer systems. The MDC/CAD is for official use only and any system or e-mail messages that contain sexual, racial, degrading or suggestive remarks are prohibited. Personal messages may be sent, but they must be incidental, of short duration and conform to the above standards, and those set forth in Directive 0310.00, Professional Conduct and Courtesy.

2.2.            Members and supervisors working in a patrol capacity will monitor their MDCs while on duty whenever feasible.

2.3.            When logging on members will enter their unit number, DPSST Number, radio packset number, and vehicle number.

3.      Bureau of Emergency Communications Dispatch Protocols.

3.1.            BOEC will dispatch calls to members based on call type, remarks and priority.

3.2.            BOEC will assist members in responding to calls by broadcasting pertinent information relating to any call for service.

3.3.            BOEC will assist in coordinating responses with partner agencies such as Portland Fire and Rescue, or neighboring law enforcement agencies.

3.4.            If a BOEC dispatcher disputes a call prioritization or officer assignment, they will direct the matter to an appropriate supervisor.

4.      Emergency Procedures.

4.1.                If normal radio communications fail for any reason, members will adhere to the following procedures until notified of alternate arrangements by BOEC.

4.2.            Member Responsibilities.

4.2.1.             Break contact with the public as soon as possible.

4.2.2.             Go to the nearest precinct or firehouse and contact their supervisor.

4.2.3.             Switch to National Calling Channel, 8Call90 on their radio.

4.2.4.             Remain at or return to standby location as directed by their supervisor.

4.3.            Supervisor Responsibilities.

4.3.1.             Determine the nature of the communication failure.

4.3.2.             Initiate command notifications.

4.3.3.             Order units to disengage from public contact if possible and refrain from discretionary activity.

4.3.4.             Conduct a roll call.

4.3.5.             Dispatch units to Priority 1, and 2 calls with at least one cover officer.

4.3.6.             Instruct units to return to standby location after their call.

Effective:        10/27/2023

Next Review:  10/27/2025

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