Police department considers signing bonuses to recruit officers

Police department considers signing bonuses to recruit officers

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 police force short nine officers is brainstorming ways to recruit, especially certified officers.

The Blytheville Police Department has 31 officers right now.

And in searching for ways to reach their full 40, the department is considering signing bonuses.

Police Chief Ross Thompson said it's something several police departments are turning to.

Details are still being discussed, but here's how it would work.

When an officer accepts a position, they would receive half of the bonus immediately, then the other half after one year on the job.

It's a way to recruit and retain police officers, and it's all about increasing public safety.

"We just need more officers to help with the call volume, and it'll help with our response times," Thompson said. "We've been able to handle some of the larger cases that we've got, but having a full complement of officers would still go a long way in helping with just some of the smaller things even."

It would also benefit the department financially, allowing it to pay a small bonus to an already certified officer that can hit the streets quickly, instead of the salary for an officer that has to head to the academy.

All of this is still being discussed in the Police and Fire Committee, and it will have to be approved by city council before put into place.

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