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Campus Law Enforcement Authority

Portland State University Campus Public Safety Office (CPSO) employs Campus Public Safety Officers (PSOs). These officers are granted authority as “special campus security officers” pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 352.385. PSOs have limited law enforcement authority. In particular, PSOs have “stop and frisk authority as provided in ORS 131.605 to 131.625 and “probable cause arrest authority” as provided in ORS 133.310 and ORS 122.315, when acting in the course of their employment. PSOs are not authorized to carry firearms and are not considered full “peace officers” under Oregon law.

The Portland Police Bureau (PBB) is a fully empowered law enforcement agency and has police jurisdiction throughout the City of Portland, including the campus of Portland State University. CPSO and PBB work together closely to provide law enforcement and security services to the campus.

Campus Public Safety Officers have complete Law Enforcement authority to arrest individuals involved in illegal acts on-campus. If minor offenses involving University rules and regulations are committed by a University student, the Campus Public Safety Office may also refer the individual to the disciplinary division of Student Affairs.


Major offenses such as aggravated assault, robbery, and auto theft that occur on campus are also reported to the Portland Police Bureau so that joint investigative efforts with the Campus Public Safety Office and the Portland Police Bureau are deployed to solve these serious felony crimes. The prosecution of all criminal offenses, both felony and misdemeanor, are undertaken by either the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office or the Portland US Attorney’s Office.

The Campus Public Safety personnel work closely with local, state, and federal police agencies and have direct radio communication with local responders. Likewise, the Campus Public Safety Office is also a part of the Multnomah County 911 Emergency System.