CLOVIS, California (KGPE) – As police departments across the country are struggling to stay staffed, Clovis is hoping a $10,000 signing bonus will be enough to grab the attention of potential candidates.
Clovis City Council unanimously approved the incentive Monday night.
“We’re in some unique times and we’re just trying to be unique in our strategies to go out and recruit,” Chief of Clovis Police Curt Fleming said.
Fleming said in the last two months three officers have left for other agencies and fewer fresh faces may be choosing law enforcement as a career because of the current climate.
Clovis currently has 98 officers: Fleming says they need to hire about ten more over the next year.
“We did this back in 2007 and we found success in it back then. In 2008 we got to our highest staffing at 117,” he said.
The $10,000 is meant to entice both new recruits as well as experienced candidates from other agencies who may need an extra incentive.
“You’re walking away from hundreds of hours of sick time, you’re walking away from seniority,” Fleming said.
Councilmember Bob Whalen voiced several concerns including the morale of officers who did not get anything extra for signing up and the fear this may start a bidding war.
“What do we do when another agency chooses to go from $10,000 to $15,000?,” he asked.
Fleming said he’s not in favor of going any higher but does think this incentive is important to help maintain the city’s reputation for safety.
“We’re hoping we can get the cream of the crop. That’s what Clovis always wants – to have the best of the best,” he said.
The bonus is set to be paid over a period of two to three years. The City of Fresno is also offering the same perk.