PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw is relaxing hiring and grooming standards for the bureau amid a critical staffing shortage.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that starting next month, a high school diploma or GED certificate will be sufficient and tattoos above the collar and beards will be allowed.

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.

Outlaw said in a statement the changes were made after careful review of the hiring process in an attempt to identify potential barriers to entry. She said the effectiveness of the changes will be reviewed in two years.

Outlaw said she’s choosing to align the bureau with the state’s law enforcement standards for police certification.

Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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