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Ask a Cop: Does the LOPD have a jail at City Hall?

(A Lake Oswego police officer answers readers’ questions each week in this space. To submit a question, call staff reporter Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

Does the Lake Oswego Police Department operate a jail at City Hall?

BURKThe Lake Oswego Police Department does not have any type of jailing facilities within the city limits. The police department doesn’t even have a holding cell at City Hall.

Prisoner holding cells must comply with federal and state regulations; to create one at City Hall would be cost-prohibitive. When incidents arise that require a person to be held for questioning, they usually are held in a patrol car, which is secure. While not ideal and labor-intensive, this arrangement at least allows us the opportunity to interview all parties involved in an incident.

Because Lake Oswego city limits fall within three counties (Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas), when a person is arrested, they are taken to the jailing facility for the county in which the crime was committed. Needless to say, transporting an arrestee to Washington County Jail in Hillsboro can be time-consuming and tie up an officer or CSO for hours.

If you have a specific request or see a violation occur, the Lake Oswego Police Department encourages all citizens to contact the non-emergency line at 503-635-0238 and an officer will be dispatched as soon as available.

— Officer Nathan Burk