OREGON, OH (Toledo News Now) – The Oregon Police Department loosened its requirements to become a police officer Monday night. Oregon City Council voted to change the vision requirements.
Applicants had to have 20/20 to 20/40 vision uncorrected to become an Oregon police officer in the past.
There will be a police officer exam in October of this year, and Oregon is in the process of recruiting applicants. Chief Mike Navarre said he worried they missed out on good officers in the past because of the requirement.
"We actually had applicants that are good applicants that probably would have been hired in the past here in the city of Oregon, but were eliminated because they could not meet that strict vision requirement," Navarre said.
The new ordinance changed the requirement to 20/100 vision uncorrected, which could bring in a hand full of additional applicants.
"In a city the size of Oregon, a hand full makes a difference because you want the best applicants out there," Navarre said.
However, Navarre said it is important for some sort of restriction to still be in place, just in case an officer's glasses or contacts come off during a scuffle.
"There has to be a certain degree of vision left without that correct in place," Navarre said.
Oregon residents seemed divided on the ordinance.
"Night vision is very important. I know it's difficult for some of us people that wear glasses, and we cannot see as well as we'd want to," Fran Kenski said.
"I think they were a little strict. I really do. Even in flying, they've lifted some of the restrictions off. It made it a lot better," Sharon Buckley said.
Oregon Council will also look at the maximum age for a new officer. Oregon does not have an ordinance specifying an age, which means the maximum age is 35, the age set in the Ohio Revised Code.