On Monday, the Phoenix Police Department announced a new 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 urgency to hire additional offers comes as 30% of the current Phoenix police officers are eligible for their 20-year retirement. In addition the number of current officers is down from a decade ago.
In a recent interview, President of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Britt London shared that about 2,800 officers were employed, which is down from about 3,500 in 2010.
In addition, the Phoenix Police Department was in hiring freeze for six years due to the recession. 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 Phoenix Police Department hopes the incentive will attract officers as agencies across the entire 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.”
In addition to the new incentive, 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.