Oregon State Police

Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police
Abbreviation OSP
Oregon State Police.png
Patch of the Oregon State Police.
Logo of the Oregon State Police.
OR - State Police Badge.png
Badge of the Oregon State Police.
Agency overview
Formed August 1, 1931
Preceding agencies
  • State Highway Commission
  • Fish and Game Commission
  • Secretary of State
  • Prohibition Commissioner
  • State Fire Marshal
Employees 1,135 (as of 2004) [1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Oregon, USA
Size 98,466 square miles (255,030 km2)
Population 3,747,455 (2007 est.)[2]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Salem, Oregon
Troopers 621 (as of 2004) [3]
Civilians 514 (as of 2004) [4]
Agency executive Chris P. Brown, Superintendent
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Oregon State Police (OSP) is the main state law enforcement agency of the U.S. state of Oregon. They have been charged to enforce all of Oregon's criminal laws and to help local law enforcement agencies with their duties. They differ from other state police such as the California Highway Patrol in that their primary focus is not limited to highway and traffic enforcement, and is the only law enforcement agency in the United States that monitors the security of the state lottery. Oregon State Police often respond to incidents in rural areas not covered by another law enforcement agency's jurisdiction.



The Oregon State Police began operating on August 1, 1931. The organization was designed by a committee appointed by Governor Julius L. Meier,[5] who made a survey of some of the most successful state law enforcement agencies across North America, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the New Jersey State Police, the Texas Rangers, the Pennsylvania State Police, and others. They took on the responsibilities that were previously handled by the State Highway Commission, the Fish and Game Commission, the Secretary of State, the Prohibition Commissioner, and the State Fire Marshal. OSP's first Superintendent (head) was Charles Pray, State Parole Officer and a former Department of Justice Agent. Mr. Pray set up four OSP districts in the state and thirty-one patrol stations. He began his duties on June 7, 1931, about two months before the State Police began operating.

Harold Maison, formerly with the State Traffic Division, was appointed as Chief Clerk and was stationed at General Headquarters in Salem. He was charged with setting up and maintaining a system of reports and records for the OSP.

Captain George Alexander was placed in charge of the Bureau of Identification and Investigation and charged with the investigational activities of the Department. On January 1, 1932, he was appointed Deputy Superintendent, a served a position he held until his installment as Warden of the State Penitentiary in 1938.

Charles McClees, previously with the State Game Commission, was appointed as captain and placed in charge of game and commercial fish enforcement.


State police vehicle parked at the Oregon State Capitol

Criminal Investigation Division

  • This division's primary duty is to assist other law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Oregon with Criminal Justice Investigations. Within the Criminal Investigation Division there are sub-divisions, those are Major Crimes Section; Drug Enforcement Section; Arson/Explosives Section; and Investigative Reports Section. Over all there are more than 40 local, county, and federal agencies that participate in this division.[6]

Fish and Wildlife

  • The Fish and Wildlife division primarily enforces laws and ordnances surrounding wildlife. They also enforce traffic code and laws.[7]

Recent changes

In 1993, the Oregon Legislature approved legislation that included the previously autonomous organizations of the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office, Law Enforcement Data System, Oregon Emergency Management, and the Oregon Boxing and Wrestling Commission within the Department of State Police.

See also

Nuvola apps agent.svg Law enforcement/Law enforcement topics portal


External links

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