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Becoming a Police Officer


555 30th Street
Astoria, OR 97103

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Stacy Kelly
Chief of Police

Eric Halverson
Deputy Chief

Jeremy Hipes
Emergency Communications Manager

Claude Wrenn
Administrative Services Manager

Administrative Services
Records: Email
Property: Email

So you want to become a police officer? Here are some things you ought to know:

How do I apply for a job?
If Astoria Police Department is hiring, the position will be listed on the City of Astoria's job listings site: https://astoria.applicantpool.com/jobs/
How do I attend the Police Academy?
Becoming a police officer in Oregon begins with you being hired by a police department. You must be hired as a police officer before going to the academy.
What are the minimum requirements?

OAR 259-008-0010 lists the Minimum Standards for Employment as a Law Enforcement Officer or Utilization as a Reserve Officer. Some of the minimum requirements include:

  • 21 years of age or older.
  • High school equivalent or higher. 
  • Must be fingerprinted.
  • Demonstrate the physical abilities to perform the critical and essential tasks.
  • Complete a psychological examination.
  • Meet moral fitness standards defined in OAR 259-008-0290 and OAR 259-008-0300.
What kinds of people are successful in being hired?
While the minimum requirements are outlined in OAR 259-008-0010, the reality is that between 18 (when most people graduate from high school) and 21 (when you are eligible to be hired) most people competing for the job have been working in other fields. Applicants often have substantial work and/or volunteer history, military experience, or college degrees.
What is the hiring process like?

APPLYING. The hiring process starts with a job application. We require an application for the position, which includes a cover letter and resume. We will grade your application packet and assign a score based on the completeness of the application packet and the experiences demonstrated. Generally, you will receive a higher score if you have college degrees, military experience, or public safety experience.

WRITTEN TESTING. Astoria Police Department uses the test provided by the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP). The test is called the Police Officer Selection Test (POST) and takes several hours to complete. The POST is certified by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). Applicants who are invited to testing will participate in a testing group. Each section of the POST is timed separately and the group completes each section within the given timeframe.

PHYSICAL ABILITIES TESTING. Typically, physical fitness testing occurs on the same day as written testing. The physical abilities test used called the Oregon Physical Abilities Test (ORPAT). The ORPAT is a hybrid physical ability-job sample physical abilities assessment process designed to evaluate police officer candidates on essential physical capacities required to satisfactorily perform job duties. The ORPAT must be completed with a time of less than 5:30 prior to graduation from the academy; the threshold time we are able to accept will be announced the day of the test. The ORPAT is a pass or fail test. You can view a video of the ORPAT.

SCORING. Applicants who pass the ORPAT are ranked based on their application scoring and written test. Generally, we will select the top 10-14 applicants to participate in interviews.

ORAL BOARD. The oral board or boards consist of a panel of 4 - 7 people who are responsible for evaluating your answers to behavioral and experiential questions. Boards may be made up of department personnel, community members, city staff, public safety partners or any combination of those groups. While we don’t expect successful applicants to have mastery of the job of a police officer, we do expect applicants to have paid attention to information we have provided on the role of a police officer, have good common sense, demonstrate superior communication skills and represent themselves well.

ORAL BOARD EVALUATIONS. At the end of the oral board process, the panel will first identify any applicants found unacceptable; this may be because of a disclosure during the interview, an answer that demonstrates complete lack of understanding of the position or lack of common sense, or someone who does not present them selves appropriately. Remaining applicants are ranked and the top performers may receive an invitation to interview with the Chief of Police.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION. The successful applicant will be asked to complete a Pre-employment Investigative Questionnaire (PIQ). A competent background investigation is required for certification as a police officer. The Astoria Police Department takes this portion of hiring very seriously; it is where we find out about you, your history and decisions you have made. 

The PIQ form is the starting place for the required background investigation. The background investigation involves your credit report, a criminal history inquiry, driving records check, verification of any certifications, transcripts or documentation you provided. The background investigation will also look into your ability to represent yourself well; this includes social media, interviews with friends, roommates, coworkers, acquaintances, neighbors, and others who know you or know of you. Our background investigator is looking for any reason to say no to you.

If the Chief of Police is satisfied with your background investigation, the Chief will make a contingent offer of employment. This offer is contingent upon no adverse findings in your background investigation, a successful psychological examination, physical examination, and drug test. Once all of those are passed, you will receive the job offer on a non-contingent basis.

So you got hired?
Welcome to the team! After being hired, you will be placed in a training status. We will not put you on the road, even with a coach, until you have been through the police academy run by DPSST. The DPSST police academy is a 16 week commitment and is held at the DPSST site in Salem, Oregon. After completion of the police academy, you can expect a Field Training Officer (a.k.a., "FTO") to guide you through the process of becoming an Astoria Police Officer. At the completion of the training cycle, you will be expected to be a functioning member of the patrol division in our department. It is not until you've successfully completed training that you are able to operate in a solo capacity as a police officer.