In Response to The Oregonian’s DPSST Investigative Report

Daryl Turner, President
Oregon Coalition of Police & Sheriffs


Portland, OR:  Earlier today, The Oregonian published a lengthy article about the role of the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST)—Oregon’s training and certifying agency for police officers, corrections officers, firefighters, private security personnel, and other public safety personnel.

However, there are several elements to this narrative that are either ignored or out of place, notably confusion about DPSST’s role in the public safety regulation and the failure to use the most relevant comparative statistics.

Most concerning, however, is the overarching premise that DPSST is meant to act as some sort of super-employer, its authority superseding local elected officials and local departments that would become secondary to State control over their day-to-day personnel processes. If this were the case, the State would have to drastically increase the DPSST budget, as well as pass new statutes that would guarantee their procedures meet due process standards. In fact, DPSST is only one vital element of a complex regulatory environment — one that spans multiple agencies and multiple levels of government. Looking at DPSST actions in a vacuum ignores a wide array of other discipline, penalties, and ongoing restrictions that are at work with regard to ensuring officer accountability.

As an organization representing rank and file police officers, deputy sheriffs, and other line personnel employed by Oregon’s largest police departments and sheriffs’ offices, we are committed to transparent discussions about our oversight systems. But for those discussions to have meaning, we must look at these structures objectively and acknowledge that each element is a part of a larger system — a system that, in its entirety, has been held up as a model of accountability around the nation. Drawing broad conclusions from singular cases in the name of sensationalism inappropriately tarnishes the reputation of thousands of dedicated law enforcement professionals in this State and the work they do on a daily basis; it does nothing to advance the discussion surrounding law enforcement service for our communities.


The Oregon Coalition of Police & Sheriffs (ORCOPS) is a non-partisan organization that advocates on behalf of police officers, deputy sheriffs and other individuals in Oregon law enforcement agencies. ORCOPS serves as a source of leadership within the law enforcement community and aims to build trust between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve.

Download the Press Release >>> 12152017 In Response to The Oregonians DPSST Report