Facing a critical staffing shortage, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw next month is relaxing hiring standards for the bureau: A high school diploma or GED certificate now will be sufficient.

Tattoos above the collar and beards might also be allowed, Oregon Live reports.

The change in the education requirement take effect July 1, the chief announced Wednesday.

In 2001, former Chief Mark Kroeker lowered Portland’s four-year college degree requirement to the current standard: an associate degree or a minimum of 60 college credits, two years of active U.S. military duty, four years in the military reserves or two years of law enforcement experience at another agency. Former Chief Charles Moose set the four-year degree standard in 1996, arguing that the complexities of the job demanded more education.

The bureau has 128 officer vacancies and hasn’t been able to fill them as fast as veterans are retiring, with another large wave of retirements expected in August 2020.

 

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