Hillsboro Police Department (Oregon)

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Hillsboro Police Department
HPD logo.jpg
Logo of the Hillsboro Police Department
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Legal jurisdiction City of Hillsboro
General nature
Operational structure
Sworn members 127[1]
Unsworn members 42
Agency executives
  • Lee Dobrowolski, Chief of Police
  • Doug Ehrich, Commander
  • Jim Coleman, Deputy Chief
Stations 2 (plus 1 mobile)
Official Website

The Hillsboro Police Department (HPD) is the municipal law enforcement agency of the city of Hillsboro, Oregon, United States. It is a regionally accredited agency with 127 sworn officers on the force. As of June 2016, the chief is Lee Dobrowolski in a city of over 90,000 residents west of Portland, Oregon, in Washington County. With 169 employees as of 2014, the department is the second largest police force in the county and seventh largest in Oregon. [2]


The Hillsboro Police Department grew to five employees in 1947, and expanded to 31 employees by 1976.[3] In 1980, officer Gerald H. Erickson became the only officer in the department to die in the line of duty.[4] The department hired Ron Louie as chief of police in 1992.[5] The department had grown to 54 sworn officers in 1994.[6]

In 1995, Hillsboro police partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Intel Corporation to start the Oregon High-Tech Crime Team to investigate and prosecute computer based crimes.[7] Intel donated $100,000 to the program.[8] By 1999, the department had seven officers assigned to the team.[9] In 2003, the unit was dissolved after 93 arrests and the recovery of $208 million, after private funding ended and a new FBI lab was opened.[10]

Tanasbourne precinct along Cornell Road in eastern Hillsboro

The department became the first police agency in Oregon to collect racial information from traffic stops in May 2000.[11][12] The information was collected to train officers to not target minority groups.[11] Hillsboro PD examines the data monthly to analyze any numbers that appear disproportionate to Census data.[12] By 2001, the department offered increased pay for officers who could speak Spanish.[13] In 2006, police chief Ron Louie and one other officer were appointed to a six-person, statewide task force to analyze racial profiling along with the American Civil Liberties Union’s top person in the state, and former Oregon Supreme Court justice Edwin J. Peterson.[14]

The department established a mediation program in 1997.[15] That program reached its goal of providing 32 hours of formal training for its entire workforce, becoming the first law enforcement agency in the United States accomplish this task.[15] HPD has documented that mediation can lead to fewer repeat calls to police from those involved in disputes.[16] The department purchased a closed Albertson's grocery store for $2.6 million in January 2001.[17] The building was remodeled and became the new main precinct.[17]

The February 2001 Nisqually earthquake temporarily closed the police headquarters in downtown, but re-opened the same day after the damage to the old brick building was determined to be cosmetic and not structural.[17] In December 2001, the department took issue with the appropriateness of some of the questions in the United States Department of Justice’s anti-terrorism interviews that followed the September 11 attacks.[18] HPD became nationally accredited in 2004 by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA),[19] and regionally accredited in 2008 by the Oregon Accreditation Alliance.[20] The agency remained CALEA accredited until 2007.[21]

In 2003 officer Lila Ashenbrenner became the first woman in the department with a command position.[22] At that time women made up 19% of the 106 officer force.[22] On July 2, 2007, Ashenbrenner would become the departments first female chief of police when Louie retired.[5] Prior chiefs of police include M. E. DeRock (1947–77),[3] Herman Woll (1977-1991),[23] Ron Louie (1992-2007),[5] Lila Ashenbrenner (2007-2010), Carey Sullivan (2010-2014), and Lee Dobrowolski (2014 - current)

In 1997, a police dog on the force was shot and killed in the line of duty, and in 2007 Hondo Dog Park was built by the city and named in honor of the fallen canine.[24] The department's Life Intervention program for fighting truancy in schools was named a finalist an award by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2009.[25] Carey Sullivan served as chief from July 2010 to March 2013,[26] with former chief Ron Louie serving as interim chief.[27] The city hired Lee Dobrowolski as the new chief, taking office in February 2014.[28] The department, in conjunction with the Fire Department, announced a joint training facility would be built near Hillsboro Stadium.[29]


West Precinct along 10th Avenue near the Tualatin Valley Highway

HPD operates two stations, a West Precinct located in downtown on 10th Street near the Washington/Southeast 12th Avenue MAX Station. The Tanasbourne Precinct is located in the Tanasbourne neighborhood on the city’s eastside.[30] Divisions include a patrol unit, detectives, emergency response team created in 1993, K-9 units, reserve units, and a Citizen's Enhancement Team, among others.[31] The department utilizes automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles in its enforcement mission. Some detectives and staff drive hybrid vehicles, as HPD's part in helping the City of Hillsboro go "green."

The department employs non-lethal weapons such as a special launcher that fires paintball-like pepper balls to incapacitate suspects.[32] To reduce repeat calls for service, the department utilizes a mediation program that trains every member of the department.[15] The department also utilizes police cadets to perform tasks that may otherwise take up the time of full-time officers. These tasks include participating in community events, traffic details, officer ride-a-longs, and graffiti cleanup.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hillsboro Police 2013-2014 Annual Report: Page 6 Retrieved on June 21, 2016
  2. ^ Table 78: Oregon: Full-time Law Enforcement Employees. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved on March 24, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Campbell, Rae Anne. Police Dept. operates on ideals. The Hillsboro Argus, October 19, 1976.
  4. ^ The one hundred fifty -two Oregon law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Statesman Journal, September 9, 2001.
  5. ^ a b c Eckert, Kurt. Chief goes out, Chief comes in Hillsboro Police Chief Ron Louie expects a seamless transition when he is replaced by Deputy Chief Lila Ashenbrenner as of July 2. The Hillsboro Argus, June 15, 2007.
  6. ^ Frank, Ryan. Hillsboro Police patrol job market for qualified officers. The Oregonian, June 8, 2000.
  7. ^ Baker, Isaac. FBI Asks Oregon Group to Join in the Fight Against Cyber Crime. The Oregonian, October 30, 2000.
  8. ^ Best force Intel can buy. The Australian, August 6, 1996.
  9. ^ Huffstutter, P.J. Tech firms pay police agencies to fight cyber crime; law enforcement: Intel funds sheriff’s unit that chases computer pirates. Some fear conflict of interest. Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1999.
  10. ^ Frank, Ryan. Hillsboro’s cybercrime unit breaks up. The Oregonian, November 3, 2003.
  11. ^ a b Steves, David. Oregon House Approves Bill to Study Police Stops for Racial Profiling. The Register Guard, April 13, 2001.
  12. ^ a b Bernstein, Maxine. Data on police traffic stops sit incomplete and unused. The Oregonian, May 9, 2004.
  13. ^ Greenblatt, Alan. Police officers primed en Espanol. Governing Magazine, April 2001.
  14. ^ The cast; Listening Post. Statesman Journal, February 19, 2006.
  15. ^ a b c RESOLUTION: Learning the skills. Oregon Lawyer, update 2007.
  16. ^ Cooper, Christopher. Training Patrol Officers to Mediate Disputes. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, February 1, 2000.
  17. ^ a b c Anderson, David R. (March 1, 2001). "Station shows ripples, cracks". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  18. ^ Correction * A Sunday commentary article listed Hillsboro. The Oregonian, December 5, 2001.
  19. ^ CALEA: 2004 Annual Report. Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Retrieved on October 5, 2006.
  20. ^ Rivera, Maria (April 23, 2008). "Hillsboro Police Department recognized as model agency". The Oregonian. 
  21. ^ CALEA: 2007 Annual Report. Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Retrieved on February 20, 2009.
  22. ^ a b Danks, Holly. Ever-watchful pioneer. The Oregonian, August 4, 2003.
  23. ^ Anderson, David R. Former Hillsboro police chief dies. The Oregonian, October 5, 2001.
  24. ^ Diehl, Angella Foret. New bark park has room to run. The Oregonian, September 14, 2007.
  25. ^ Eckert, Kurt (November 10, 2009). "Officers fight truancy with class". The Hillsboro Argus. p. A1. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  26. ^ Woolington, Rebecca (March 4, 2013). "Hillsboro police chief resigns from position, city says". The Oregonian. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  27. ^ Woolington, Rebecca (March 11, 2013). "Hillsboro police interim chief meeting with officers to identify concerns, gather feedback about department". The Oregonian. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  28. ^ Woolington, Rebecca (February 3, 2014). "Hillsboro's new chief, Lee Dobrowolski, lists integrity, community policing as key values in law enforcement". The Oregonian. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  29. ^ Burkhardt, Doug (February 6, 2015). "Fire, police agencies plan joint training facility in Hillsboro". Hillsboro Tribune. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  30. ^ Hillsboro Police: Contact Us. City of Hillsboro. Retrieved on October 5, 2007.
  31. ^ Hillsboro Police: Departments. City of Hillsboro. Retrieved on October 5, 2007.
  32. ^ Frank, Ryan. Police add pepper guns to nonlethal arsenal. The Oregonian, January 22, 2002.
  33. ^ Police Cadet Brochure. City of Hillsboro. Retrieved on November 6, 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°31′15″N 122°58′24″W / 45.520797°N 122.973254°W / 45.520797; -122.973254