Elk Grove City Council approves incentive package to recruit more police officers

Elk Grove City Council approves incentive package to recruit more police officers

 

At last night’s City Council meeting, the Elk Grove City Council approved an incentive package to recruit officers from other departments to join the Elk Grove Police Department.  At a previous city council meeting EGPD Police Chief Bryan Noblett had discussed the challenges of adding more officers. He stated that it takes over 1 year to add a new officer, by the time you factor in attending the academy and training.  The incentive package will allow the city to recruit officers from other law enforcement agencies to more quickly address the need for more officers.

 

City staff presented a report to the council, Recruiting Incentive Program for Lateral Police Officers and Lateral Dispatchers. The report noted that there has been a 40% decline in lateral transfers. The staff report also showed incentive packages offered by other departments. Of the 13 local cities in the city of Elk Grove recruitment area, 3 are offering incentive packages.  Modesto is offering $15,000, Fairfield is offering $10,000 and Stockton is offering a $6,000 incentive.

 

The report listed some of issues involved with officers and dispatchers who take a lateral transfer. They lose seniority, accrued leave and possibly a reduction in retirement.  Currently there are 7 vacancies and possibly 4 retirements coming up by December.

 

During council deliberations, Chief Noblett weighed in that he would like to see a good balance of new hires and lateral transfers. Noblett said that in 2016 there were 17 officers hired.  10 were lateral transfers and 7 were new hires. In 2017  there were 11 officers hired,  6 were laterals and 5 were new officers. So far in 2018 there have been 11 hires, with only 2 being laterals and 9 being new hires.

Councilmember Hume expressed concern that once the city starts down this path that it will not be able to go back and incentives could get more expensive.  Hume also said that possibly other cities need to offer more because the cities may not be as desirable as Elk Grove.  Councilmembers Nguyen, Suen and Mayor Ly said they supported it. Hume eventually agreed to go along with the plan.  Chief Noblett stated that during his tenure as a police officer, that he has seen a cyclical nature of incentives being offered.

 

The approved package has the following details:

Lateral Police Officers

1. Offer a lateral signing incentive of $7,500 to the new hire payable as follows:

  • a. $2,500 paid upon completion of Field Training
  • b. $5,000 paid upon completion of probation

2. Load 40 hours of annual leave upon hire.

3. Offer leave accrual based on confirmed years of service as an Officer.

4. Offer a lateral referral bonus of $1,000 to current City employees as follows (this is open to any current City employee):

  • a. Paid upon the referred applicant’s completion of probation.
  • b. Referral letter must accompany the application at the time of submittal.

 

Lateral Dispatchers

1. Offer a lateral signing incentive of $5,000 to the new hire payable as follows:

  • a. $2,500 paid upon completion of the initial training program.
  • b. $2,500 paid upon completion of probation.

2. Load 40 hours of annual leave upon hire.

3. Offer leave accrual based on confirmed years of service as a Dispatcher.

4. Offer a lateral referral incentive of $1,000 to current City employees as follows (this is open to any City employee).

  • a. Paid upon the referred applicant’s completion of probation.
  • b. Referral letter must accompany the application at the time of submittal.

Cost for the next year is $70,000

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