Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

TITLE: Public Safety Officer

CLASS: Classified



Job Summary

Under the direction of a Public Safety Sergeant or higher official, performs general duty public safety work in the protection of life and property throughout the college.  Utilizing established procedures, responds and takes appropriate action in the event of crime, fire, or medical emergencies.  Conducts foot, bicycle and vehicle patrol on a random basis.  Takes action when necessary in the enforcement of state and local laws, and college policy (e.g. Tobacco Free Policy) and regulations. Provides a broad scope of assistance to students, staff, faculty, and the public, ranging from dispensing simple directions to performing emergency medical first responder activities and intervening in situations of criminal or violent nature.  Acts in the absence of a Sergeant when authorized.


It is the Mission of the Department of Public Safety to provide public safety services which enhance and support achievement of the educational mission of Portland Community College.  The Department will provide personal and facility security, crime prevention services, public safety communication services, disaster preparedness programs, emergency medical assistance, first response to fire alarms, assistance with parking and traffic management, and investigative services in support of this mission.  The Department of Public Safety will address matters of law enforcement within the scope of its statutory and legal authority and refer matters outside of its scope to the appropriate agencies.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This classification is distinguished from that of the Public Safety Sergeant in that the Sergeant is responsible for leading and coordinating the work activities of public safety employees and plans and implements public safety operations/programs.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Provides customer service, information and assistance to students, staff, faculty and the general public. May be required to broadcast emergency messages using appropriate notification systems. Provides motorist assists and other appropriate courtesy services to students, staff, faculty and the public.
  2. Conducts foot, bicycle and vehicle patrol of college property, makes inquiries regarding incidents, gives warnings and citations, detains individuals as necessary and uses limited force when appropriate as defined by policy.
  3. Performs security and safety checks of college grounds and facilities to ensure a safe and healthy environment.  Identifies safety hazards and assists first responders to hazardous material incidences. Secures and provides authorized access to college facilities during hours of operation.  Takes appropriate action in response to intrusion and panic alarms. Responds to fire and medical emergencies, and provides crises intervention in conflict or emergency situations. Evaluates circumstances, coordinates outside responses, secures hazardous area, and performs as an emergency first responder. Provides on-scene incident command in emergency situations.
  4. Conducts preliminary investigations of incidents occurring on college property which includes interviewing suspects, witnesses and victims, and assures appropriate disposition of such incidents.  May make arrests and search arrested persons, inventory property and provide appropriate custody of persons. 
  5. Utilizes and maintains certification for the use of the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS), Portland Police Data System (PPDS) and National Crime Information Center (NCIC) data system which accesses highly confidential information.
  6. Participates in a variety of meetings and committees to ensure that safety and security issues are appropriately addressed.
  7. Performs required testing or inspection of safety and security equipment to include cameras and mass notification systems during prescribed intervals to ensure proper working condition. 
  8. Prepares incident, special, and medical reports for college and law enforcement use as necessary. Maintains records and log books as required.
  9. Participates in judicial proceedings such as appearing in court as arresting officer or witness and providing testimony; appearing at college administrative hearings to give testimony; and delivering all property, evidence and relevant information to appropriate agency.
  10. May enforce the college motor vehicle and traffic regulations and other public safety rules. Assists other jurisdictions while they are on college property.
  11. Participates in district disaster preparation drills and evaluation.
  12. Maintains current knowledge of public safety methods and practices.
  13. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Work Environment and Physical Requirements

Must be able to work rotating shifts and days off with overtime as required, and early/late hours with call-back hours as needed.  Must be able to work inside and outside in extreme weather conditions.  May be exposed to stressful or potentially dangerous situations or incidents. Must be able to adapt to rapidly changing environments and continual interruptions during shifts. 

Must meet the following requirements: possess normal color discrimination, binocular coordination, and peripheral vision; possess uncorrected or corrected visual acuity of 20/20 in both eyes combined; possess unaided or aided hearing with a hearing threshold level that does not exceed 25 dB in either ear at the frequencies of 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz (or an average in both ears of 25 dB for frequencies 500, 1000, 2000), 35 dB for 3000 Hz, and 45 dB for 4000 Hz.

Must be able to: stand for long periods of time; walk, run, climb, bend, stoop and lift weights commensurate with need to perform medical and/or other assistance; sprint for short spans of time; wear a uniform and equipment weighing approximately 25 pounds; be physically fit and able to use physical force to intervene in situations when necessary.

Minimum Qualifications

High school diploma or equivalent.  Two years of college level coursework in Criminal Justice, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science or related fields.  Experience in the field may substitute on a year-for-year basis for the college requirement.  Must be 21 years of age. 

Must be able to complete four month Department Field Training and Evaluation Program within one year of appointment.  Must be able to obtain within one year of appointment (or have upon hire) an emergency medical Basic First Aid certification, Basic CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) certification, and Basic AED (Automated External Defibrillator) certification.

Must be able to obtain a current Private Security ID certification obtained through Department of Public Safety Standards and Training from the State of Oregon; or be able to obtain within 30 days of employment. Upon hire must be able to complete certification requirements for LEDS/NCIC. Must be able to pass both a personal and criminal history background investigation. Must not have been convicted of a felony crime or any crime for which a maximum term of imprisonment of more than one year may be imposed.  Must not have been convicted of any law of this state or any other jurisdiction involving the unlawful use, possession, delivery, or manufacture of a controlled substance, narcotic, or dangerous drug.  Must be bondable.

Must have a valid driver's license to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Oregon and possess an acceptable driving record. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Working knowledge of word processing, database and/or spreadsheet applications;
  • Knowledge of state and local law enforcement rules and regulations;
  • Knowledge of laws governing arrest, search and seizure; investigative techniques;
  • Skill in interacting with diverse populations in a positive, objective and consistent manner;
  • Skill in interacting tactfully yet firmly with individuals;
  • Ability to provide courteous customer assistance to students, staff, faculty and the general public;
  • Ability to demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills to write detailed reports and memos;
  • Ability to accurately apply and explain policies, procedures and systems;
  • Ability to research records and information using internal/external databases;
  • Ability to establish and maintain harmonious working relationships with individuals as well as in a small group environment;
  • Ability to use sound judgment and good observational skills;
  • Ability to think clearly, analyze situations and perform effectively in stressful or emergency situations;
  • Ability to maintain accurate and complete records.