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Memphis Police Department hopes to hire 500+ new officers with $15K sign-on bonus

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 8:56 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Police Department needs more boots on the street, so the City of Memphis is offering a pretty sizable incentive a $15,000 sign-on bonus for new recruits.

Recruits can also benefit from an increased starting salary of $45,623, and $10,000 for relocation assistance.

“We are short about 300 officers from compliments, so we’re at about 2,000 officers and we’re looking to get to 2,300,” said Chris Allen, supervisor of public safety recruitment for the police department.

Allen says that number is only going to get bigger. He says within the next two years, the department will need to hire 500 to 600 officers.

Shelby County Commissioner Eddie Jones says it all comes down to safety.

Jones says if it takes a hefty sign-on bonus to recruit more officers, he is for it.

“Given the violence that we’re seeing out in the community right now, who will argue the fact that, ‘hey, whatever it takes, we need more officers,’” Jones said.

County Commissioner and NAACP Memphis Branch president, Van Turner, agrees with Jones and says hiring more officers goes hand in hand with discussions the re-imagining police task force had last year.

“I would hope as we do this with more officers we’re able to get to the community policing that we want to do. One of the things that they said which prevented us from getting back to community policing is that they just didn’t have enough officers to walk the streets, knock on the doors, be in the communities,” Turner said.

The city says the bonus money comes from ARPA funds, which were voted on and approved by the city council.

If you are interested in applying, more information can be found here.

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