Union backing Phoenix cops support new incentive program
Aug 25, 2021, 4:45 AM
(Phoenix Police Department Facebook photo)
PHOENIX – The union supporting Phoenix Police officers is happy about the recently launched incentive program that would pay a $7,500 hiring bonus for new officer recruits and sworn officers who transfer to Phoenix.
“I’m glad that the city is taking steps to help our recruitment – that they’re noticing that this is a problem and we’re having issue with the number of police we have,” Britt London, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.
Currently, Phoenix has 2,836 sworn officers out of the 3,125 allotted positions.
The biggest concern, according to a spokesperson with the Phoenix Police Department, is the 30% of current officers eligible for their 20-year retirement.
Over the past three fiscal years, Phoenix Police has hired more than 360 officers to fill the openings left by attrition and vacancies still left unfilled by a six-year hiring freeze during the recession.
The city is hopeful the incentives will add to the push for the department to attract the best and most qualified candidates.
In addition to the $7,500 hiring bonus for new officers joining the force in Phoenix, officers currently on the force have their own incentive.
Employees are eligible for a $2,500 referral fee. That payout will come in two stages, $1,250 when the applicant is hired and $1,250 after the new officer’s successful completion of a one-year probationary period.
“What we have realized is that our employees can be our best recruiters,” Sgt. Ann Justus told KTAR News. “So we have tried to incentivize that.”
The city of Phoenix confirmed that funds for the incentives are coming from salary savings due to unfilled budgeted positions.
Although officers are in favor of the new incentives, PLEA remains skeptical with morale at an all-time low as the Department of Justice continues to investigate the Phoenix Police Department.
“I don’t know what could boost morale right now,” London said. “We had a membership meeting the other day and people are feeling like every single thing is coming down on them here in Phoenix.”