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Cadet/Reserve: Community policing in action: A partnership between citizen volunteers and the Portland Police Bureau

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Portland Police Bureau Cadet Program

The Police Cadet Program is designed to provide an introduction to law enforcement to young men and women who are interested in pursuing a career in this rewarding profession.

This is accomplished through mentorship, classroom instruction and hands-on training.

Upon completion of the program, Cadets who desire to continue in the field of law enforcement are encouraged to apply with the Portland Police Reserve Unit and, when eligible, participate in the Portland Police Bureau testing process.

What are the Cadet Program's Objectives?

  • Instill an understanding and appreciation of the criminal justice system, and the professional ethics applied to law enforcement.
  • Develop an appreciation and understanding of Oregon laws.
  • Our goal is for the Cadets to become future Community Policing Officers for the Portland Police Bureau.

What will I be doing as a Cadet?

Once accepted into the Cadet Program, you will be assigned to one of three Precinct Posts. Police Cadets work many details and assignments in uniform and are involved in the following areas of community events and services:
  • Attending weekly meetings
  • School Safety Fairs
  • Parades
  • Vacation house checks
  • Traffic speed watches
  • Assisting police officers at road hazards, traffic accidents and crime scenes
  • Ride-Alongs with police officers
  • State competitions
  • Fundraising events

Training Opportunities

Police Cadets gain valuable experience and training in preparation for a career in law enforcement. Although Police Cadets have no police powers, they receive the following training:
  • Community Policing philosophy
  • Ethics and decision-making
  • Cultural awareness
  • Driving techniques
  • Crime scene control
  • Defensive tactics
  • Firearms safety
  • Report writing
  • Oregon laws
  • CPR/First Aid


Those interested in the program must meet the following criteria:
  • Age 16-20
  • Maintain a minimum "C" grade point average with no failures in high school
  • Have no arrests or convictions which would prohibit employment as a police officer

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis and will be processed during the month of September in preparation for the Cadet Academy beginning in January of each year. Download an application here.

More Information

If you have questions about the program please contact the Police Cadet Coordinator at 503-823-5723.

Ride-Along Request


All reserve officers are trained a variety of law enforcement skills both academic and tactical. Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings and on Saturdays. The academy lasts about five months. All training is free. Reserve officers are provided uniforms and other equipment but must buy their own protective vest.

Click For Hiring Process

Ride-Along Request

The Portland Police Reserve Unit is made up of men and women who volunteer their time and effort to make Portland a safe and pleasant community. Reserve officers are volunteers who may be assigned to uniformed, armed duties or non-uniform, unarmed duties.


  • Same minimum qualifications as Entry-Level Police Officer with the exception of the college requirement, Entry Level qualifications.


  • After completion of our Reserve Academy, reserve officers perform many duties similar to a regular police officer at the direction of the Portland Police Bureau Reserve Commanders.

Some reserve officer activities are:

  • Patrol support (patrolling in uniform in a police car)
  • Assist with arrests and transporting prisoners to jail
  • Assist with special missions (drug details, prostitution missions)
  • Presidential and VIP security
  • Assist at traffic accidents, enforce traffic laws
  • Community events; festivals, parades, marathons, sporting events
  • Crime prevention activities
  • Senior citizen programs


If you would like to join the Portland Police Reserve unit or would like more information, please contact:
Portland Police Bureau
Reserve Coordinator
449 NE Emerson
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 823-5723

Download the Portland Police Bureau Reserve Application (PDF) here