How to Become a Police Officer in Oregon

In order to gain acceptance into Oregon’s Police Academy, one must pass a physical ability test, a written test, a panel interview, and a background screening investigation. Before you can even gain access to these tests, there are other specific requirements that need to be met.

You must have US citizenship, a high school diploma (GED), and a valid Oregon driver’s license. In addition, any potential applicants must have no felony convictions or major traffic violations.

You also may not have any misdemeanor convictions within the past five years. If all of these basic requirements are met, you may fill out the application and gain access to the assessments that I previously mentioned.

Fitness Physical Test

The first test that a potential student of Oregon’s Police Academy must pass is the Physical Ability Test. Physical fitness is a big part of being a police officer. Because of the many responsibilities and demands in this line of work, potential officers must be at the peak of physical fitness.

This Physical fitness test is composed of three different sections: A one-minute sit-up test, a one-minute push-up test, and a two-mile run. There are minimum times that you must achieve in these tests, these times are determined based on the age of an applicant. Failure to complete any of these three sections within the allotted time results in disqualification.

Written Exam

The next test that the state of Oregon requires of their police academy applicants is the written test. After passing the physical test, an applicant will move on to the written test. Because communication and improvisational skills are such key parts of being a successful leader and law enforcer, Oregon likes for their police academy trainees to be educated and mentally sharp.

The written test is divided into five parts. There are questions that assess: vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, mathematical skills, and reading comprehension. There are approximately twenty questions in each section.

Oral Board Interview

If you do well on the first two tests, you then qualify for the panel interview stage. This is also known as the oral board interview. There are several interviewers that ask questions designed to determine competency as a future cop.

As with the written test, this stage measures a potential student’s ability to think on their feet and correctly deal with tricky situations.

Psychological Test

Upon passing the oral board interview, you will be sent for a psychological exam. This just assesses whether or not you are healthy enough to have a career in the law enforcement field.

The psychological exam is composed of two written tests: The “California Psychological Inventory,” and the “Personal History Questionnaire.” All results are evaluated by licensed psychologists.

Background Test

As is expected with a career in law enforcement, personal history and background screening are taken very seriously and are looked at with great scrutiny. During this the final stage of the required police academy application tests, you will be asked for documents and personal history information (this includes things like previous employment, credit card history, and educational background).

The documents must be verified by an investigator who then goes on to interview family members, neighbors, friends, and coworkers.

If it is found out that you have lied or forged information at any point, your application will be dropped and you will no longer be considered as a candidate for Oregon’s police academy.