To clear up any ambiguity, Oregon City Council is considering setting 35 as the maximum hiring age for any new police officers, officials said.
Already, state law establishes 35 as the maximum age, unless a community passes a different local law.
But Oregon does not have its own policy in place, so city leaders said they wanted to put the age restriction on the record in the city's municipal code.
"We want it to be clear-cut, so there is no confusion there," Mayor Mike Seferian said.
The city council is expected to discuss the issue Monday at a committee-of-the-whole meeting, then vote June 11.
The Toledo Police Department has set 35 as its maximum hiring age. Neighboring Northwood does not have its own policy in place.
Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre said he advocates formalizing 35 at the local level.
The importance of having an age restriction isn't about a 35-year-old's on-the-job ability compared to a 30-year-old's or a 40-year-old's, the chief said. It matters most 25 years later, when a police officer becomes eligible to retire and get a pension, he said.
Without a restriction, officers still could be working into their mid-60s or 70s, instead of retiring at age 60, Chief Navarre said.
"This is a young man's job," he said. "That's why I support 35."
But the city's proposed policy also sets up a process for those older than 35 to ask the city council for an exemption.
That way, older candidates with experience in other police departments or those who served in the military -- job candidates whose years of work are already building up in the public pension system -- can still apply to Oregon.
Chief Navarre, 56, described veterans "as some of the best candidates you could get in law enforcement.
"It's important anybody can go to council and get an exemption from that requirement," he said.