Phoenix Police hoping to boost recruiting with $7,500 hiring bonus
PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department recently launched an incentive program that would pay a $7,500 hiring bonus for new officer recruits and lateral sworn officers.
Recruits will receive $2,500 in three installments, according to a press release, once at hiring, another upon graduating from the Phoenix Regional Police Academy and the final part of the bonus after successful completion of a one-year probationary period.
Lateral officers will receive $3,750 when sworn in as a Phoenix police officer and another $3,750 upon successful completion of a one-year probationary period.
The bonus comes as 30% of the current Phoenix police officers are eligible for their 20-year retirement, according to the release, in addition to officer numbers being down from a decade ago.
President of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Britt London previously told KTAR News 92.3 FM that about 2,800 officers were employed – down from about 3,500 in 2010.
The Phoenix Police Department went into a hiring freeze for six years due to the recession, according to the release, and over the past three fiscal years more than 360 officers have been hired to fill openings from attrition and vacancies that were left unfilled during the freeze.
The department hopes the incentive will attract more people as agencies across the nation compete for qualified candidates.
“We know there are men and women from diverse backgrounds with an intense desire to serve their community,” Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said in the release.
“This may be the added incentive they need to follow their dream.”
City employees who refer individuals to the police department are also eligible for a $2,500 bonus paid in two stages, $1,250 when the applicant is hired and another $1,250 after successful completion of the year probationary period.
The Phoenix Police Department is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is probing the Phoenix police’s use-of-force practices and looking for patterns of retaliation over activity protected under the First Amendment as well as discrimination against people with disabilities or who are homeless.