Currently, Oregon is dead last compared to other states in number of police officers and deputy sheriffs per 100,000 citizens. The ratio of state troopers is second to last with only Florida falling behind. A bill this legislative session sponsored by Gov. Kate Brown aims to change that and put Oregon in the middle of that list within 10 years. With AOC’s assistance along with other public safety and transportation advocates, House Bill (HB) 2406 will receive serious consideration in the next few months at the state capitol.
HB 2406 would set a ratio of 15 patrol troopers per 100,000 citizens and be implemented over the next years. If enacted, by 2030, Oregon would have as many state troopers as it did in 1980 when the state’s population was 2 million.
“We’re certainly not the most important service in Oregon,” said state police Superintendent Travis Hampton, while testifying at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. “But we are a core service that is provided to the citizens of Oregon.”
In 1980, funding for state police switched from gas tax to general fund and numbers have steadily declined since.
State Police also provides assistance to county sheriffs and local agencies through the state crime labs, medical examiner, fish and wildlife enforcement, state fire marshal, and many other services.
HB 2406 will be considered in the Joint Ways and Means Committee this session.
Contributed by: Patrick Sieng | Legislative Affairs Manager