0630.26 Public Safety Support Specialist Program

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
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630.26, Public Safety Support Specialist Program


  • ORS 181A.355 Definitions for ORS 181A.355 to 181A.670
  • DIR 630.10, Driving Responses
  • DIR 900.00, General Reporting Guidelines
  • DIR 1010.00, Use of Force
  • DIR 1500.00, Training
  • Training Division Standard Operating Procedure 3-8, Public Safety Support Specialist Program


Active Aggression: A threat or overt act of an assault (through physical or verbal means), coupled with the present ability to carry out the threat or assault, which reasonably indicates that an assault or injury to any person is about to happen, unless intervention occurs.

Public Safety Support Specialists: Non-sworn members who are authorized to assist sworn members in the performance of certain duties that do not require law enforcement authority. Public Safety Support Specialists do not meet the statutory definition of “police officers” and are not Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST)-certified; therefore, they are not law enforcement officials (i.e., sworn members).

Public Safety Support Specialist Coach: A sworn member or a non-probationary Public Safety Support Specialist who is assigned to a probationary Public Safety Support Specialist and responsible for both monitoring and documenting their performance, and providing resources to assist in their training and development.


1. Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) Public Safety Support Specialists (PS3s) provide support to the Bureau’s sworn members in non-emergency, non-priority situations; engage in community outreach with the public; offer a visible, community-based police support function to enhance PPB’s service to the public. PS3s shall not replace other job classifications, although they may support such work if needed.


1. Public Safety Support Specialists Training.

1.1. PS3s shall receive initial training as determined by the Training Division. At a minimum, this training shall consist of the following:

1.1.1. An introductory academy or comparable specialized training;

1.1.2. Instruction with a mental health focus; and

1.1.3. A field training program with a PS3 Coach.

1.2. PS3s shall complete a one year probationary period from the date of hire.

1.3. PS3s shall have an assigned PS3 coach during their probationary period.

1.4. PS3s shall receive ongoing training as determined by the Training Division.

2. Public Safety Support Specialists Duties and Responsibilities.

2.1. PS3s shall act in accordance with all applicable Bureau Directives, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and City of Portland Human Resources Administrative Rules (HRARs). They shall follow the lawful orders, commands, and instructions of sworn members.

2.1.1. PS3s may utilize the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) and National Crime Information Center (NCIC) after completing appropriate training.

2.1.2. Depending on the assignment, under the supervision of a sworn police supervisor, PS3s may perform a combination of some or all of the following duties, and perform related duties as assigned. Write police reports for non-emergency situations that do not require police officer authority, and do not involve potential evidence, suspects, or a crime scene. Respond to non-injury traffic collisions to facilitate information exchange between involved parties; coordinate tow services for disabled vehicles. Conduct follow-up on property crimes where there is no suspect information, either by phone or in person, with an emphasis on crime victims’ rights and referrals to other City Bureaus. Process evidence or property, including writing reports and properly securing property. Attend neighborhood meetings, community and/or public events. (This does not replace attendance at such events by sworn officers.) Assist police officers in searching for missing persons such as elderly adults, medically fragile adults, or children when there is no reason to believe they are a threat to themselves or the community. Assist with inventory and maintenance of PPB-issued equipment, excluding weapons and ammunition. Assist drivers in stalled vehicles and summon other necessary assistance; respond to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other community members in need of assistance. Broadcast and receive messages via police radio and Mobile Data Terminal (MDT); maintain contact with field units; ask for assistance when appropriate due to incident type and scope. Assist with temporary street closures, detours and other public service duties identified by police supervisors. Summon a police officer for situations they encounter in which enforcement action is necessary.

2.2. PS3s shall be assigned to a precinct and work on an existing standard shift that mirror patrol schedules patrol precincts. They shall report to the shift sergeant(s) while on duty.

2.3. Upon completion of the required probationary period and with the approval of their assigned shift sergeant, PS3s may have community members accompany them on a shift to observe their activities.

2.4. Reporting.

2.4.1. PS3s taking any authorized action while on duty shall write and submit an appropriate report to cover the incident, in accordance with Directive 900.00, General Reporting Guidelines.

2.4.2. If a PS3 uses force while on duty, they shall immediately notify a supervisor and complete all force reporting requirements, in accordance with Directive 1010.00, Use of Force.

3. Prohibited Activity.

3.1. Unless otherwise instructed by a supervisor, PS3s are not authorized to participate in or perform the following duties:

3.1.1. Calls for service involving contact or potential contact with a criminal suspect(s);

3.1.2. Any incident where it is likely there will be contact with a person in crisis (e.g., mental health, intoxication, drug-affected, etc.);

3.1.3. Custodial transports (i.e., suspects, detox, Peace Officer Hold [POH]);

3.1.4. Foot or vehicle pursuits;

3.1.5. Emergency driving or any driving in violation of Oregon State traffic laws;

3.1.6. Respond as cover for sworn members; or

3.1.7. Any call where a sergeant determines it is outside the scope of employment or duties of a PS3.

3.2. PS3s shall not work undercover assignments.

3.3. PS3s shall not use physical force, unless placed in a position where the force is in response to active aggression, and they must defend themselves or others in accordance with the standards set forth in Directive 1010.00, Use of Force, and Directive 315.30, Satisfactory Performance.

3.3.1. If a PS3 is involved in a force incident, this force will be subject to Directive 1010.00, Use of Force, and must include a complete After Action review by the precinct supervisor.

4. Uniforms and Equipment.

4.1. PS3s shall wear uniforms with patches and/or logos that are distinct from Bureau sworn member uniforms and identify them as Police Bureau members.

4.2. PS3s may attend trainings and certain events out of uniform, as appropriate (e.g., trainings with business casual dress requirements, other special events with permission from a sergeant).

4.3. PS3s shall not wear or be issued PPB badges.

4.4. PS3s shall carry defensive equipment (i.e., aerosol restraint) as determined by the Training Division.

4.4.1. PS3s shall not be issued any of the following devices: Firearm; Conducted electrical weapon (CEW); or Any less lethal devices that operate on principles consistent with a firearm (e.g., less-lethal 40mm devices).

4.4.2. PS3s are prohibited from carrying any firearms or less-lethal devices described above in the performance of the normal course of their duties.

4.5. The Bureau shall assign specialized vehicles designed for PS3s’ job functions. PS3s are only authorized to operate marked PPB vehicles to accomplish a specific task (e.g., move a vehicle between precincts, reposition vehicles at a crime scene).

5. Public Safety Support Specialist Coach Responsibilities.

5.1. All PS3 coaches shall have a demonstrable record of professional conduct and suitable work performance.

5.1.1. Members who have been subject to disciplinary action based upon the use of force or mistreatment of individuals with mental illness within the three preceding years, or twice in the preceding five years, shall be prohibited from serving as PS3 coaches.

5.2. PS3 coaches shall monitor and evaluate the performance of their assigned PS3s during the designated probationary period.

6. Supervisor Responsibilities.

6.1. The precinct shift sergeant shall supervise the day to day activities of any assigned PS3s.

6.1.1. If the PS3 uses force (e.g., aerosol restraint deployment), the supervisor shall act in accordance with Directive 1010.00, Use of Force, when reviewing the incident.

7. Training Division.

7.1. The Training Division shall administer the PS3 Program and maintain a program SOP.

7.2. The Training Division Captain or a designee shall determine all PS3 Program-related training.


- Originating Directive Date: 08/06/19

- Last Revision Signed: 08/06/19

- Effective Date: 09/05/19

- Next Review Date: 09/05/20

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