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Ask A Cop: Police training officers


Editor’s note: Every week a Lake Oswego police officer answers your questions in this space. Send questions to Reporter Cliff Newell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him at 503-636-1281, ext. 105.

“What is a dedicated training officer and what do they do?”

A dedicated training officer is a certified police officer who is assigned full time to train other officers. by: SUBMITTED - Brady

For most agencies it is considered a lateral assignment, such as detective or motorcycle officer, and the number of dedicated training officers can vary greatly by agency from the Portland Police Bureau, which has 22 to the Lake Oswego Police Department, which has one (the majority of agencies do not have a dedicated training officer). 

Generally the larger the agency, the more trainers it has and the more specialized they are, instructing specific areas such as: rifle, defensive tactics, use of force, patrol tactics, TASER, driving, handgun, to name a few. Conversely, with smaller agencies and fewer training officers, they have to be knowledgeable in a wide range of areas. Regardless of the size of agency there are other department officers trained in specific skills that can be assigned temporarily to assist with training. 

At the LOPD, the dedicated training officer oversees all department in-service training in approximately a dozen core topics. The dedicated training officer determines department training needs and goals, stays current with national trends on police tactics and case law and seeks out and/or develops training to address these trends.

The training officer also facilitates or conducts briefing training, ensures department compliance with all mandated training (department policy, DPSST, OSHA, etc.), serves as department field training coordinator, overseeing all aspects of new officer training and sponsors/hosts outside training classes. A dedicated training officer continually seeks out quality, relevant, and affordable training opportunities for all Lake Oswego police department personnel. 

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) requires police officers to maintain current first aid/CPR certification and have a minimum of 84 training hours every three years, 24 hours of which must be firearms or use of force training. 

All Lake Oswego Police Officers greatly exceed this minimum standard. Think of training like an insurance policy: You hate paying the premiums, but when you need it you want the best coverage there is.

— Officer Mike Brady