Penzone: ‘Bidding wars’ for law enforcement hires is not a solution

Jan 13, 2022, 2:30 PM

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone worries that recruitment efforts in local law enforcement has led to “bidding wars” that will do more harm than good.

“We’re kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday.

“We need to start recruiting out of state so that we’re not stealing from each other. We will not be strong if one agency pays more and draws people to go there, away from another agency. We are all intertwined in this county and in the state.”

Law enforcement across metro Phoenix and the nation has come under under scrutiny following public calls for more accountability in policing actions in the months after several officer-related deaths of minorities.

Some police agencies in the Valley have been offering thousands of dollars in incentives for lateral hires and new recruits.

Last fall, the Glendale Police Department announced it would pay in-state lateral officers a $10,000 bonus.

Around the same time, the Phoenix Police Department announced it would pay a $7,500 bonus to signees and the Mesa Police Department promoted a $5,000 bonus for certain hires.

The Peoria Police Department has advertised $6,000 in incentive pay for lateral, experienced officers.

The Tempe Police Department launched a recruiting program last summer that included a $5,000 signing bonus for lateral officers and $3,500 for new officers.

Maricopa County recently listed a $3,000 signing bonus for sheriff department detention officers.

“We have a deterioration in our ability to recruit and retain employees because it’s become a less appealing profession due to a lot of factors, that include … demonization [and] the safety issues,” Penzone said.

“This state, more than any other, should be thriving when we look at opportunities for employment and law enforcement should be the tip of the spear because you can’t thrive in a community if you’re not a safe community.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Leading Democratic candidate Kamala Harris and Arizona voters...

Serena O'Sullivan

Border could be hardest issue for VP Kamala Harris to win Arizona voters on, Valley political expert says

Vice President Kamala Harris is now in the spotlight as the leading Democratic candidate ahead of the general election in November.

56 minutes ago

Vice President Kamala Harris prepares to swear in Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, with wife Gabrielle G...

Kevin Stone

Does Arizona US Sen. Mark Kelly have chance to be running mate for Kamala Harris?

With Vice President Kamala Harris seemingly on track to move to the top of the Democratic ticket, could Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly be her running mate?

1 hour ago

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes answers questions in Phoenix after winning his election in...

Kevin Stone

Arizona Sec. Adrian Fontes explains how Joe Biden’s withdrawal affects state elections

How will Joe Biden's withdrawal affect Arizona elections? "We'll be OK with that," Secretary of State Adrian Fontes said Monday.

4 hours ago

(Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management)...

Romero, Circle fires threatening land near Kearny in rural Arizona

Crews are working toward containment on two large fires threatening farm land in rural Arizona near Kearny, officials said Sunday.

4 hours ago

People in the Valley are without power after weekend outages...

Power mostly restored across metro Phoenix morning after storms rolled through

Over 200 people in the Valley went without power early Monday morning, according to the Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service.

6 hours ago

Hemisphere GNSS Inc agreed to settle false claims allegations...

Payne Moses

Arizona GPS company agrees to pay $2.6M to settle false claims allegations

Hemisphere GNSS Inc., an Arizona satellite GPS manufacturer, agreed to pay $2.6M to settle false claims allegations.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Penzone: ‘Bidding wars’ for law enforcement hires is not a solution