The Arroyo Grande Police Department has been struggling to recruit qualified and experienced officers, but a new incentive program is on the way.
With only 23 current sworn officers, there are five vacant job positions, causing the police department to be in need of recruiting help.
There have been several reasons why there has been a shortage of incoming police officers, “there’s a lot of other jobs out there that people are interested in, not to mention there’s been some negative publicity surrounding police officers over the last few years, and that’s all kind of hindered the candidate pool,” Patrol Services Commander, Michael Martinez said.
The new lateral police officer recruiting incentive program provides $10,000 for new hires, and focuses on finding candidates who have a minimum of one year of recent experience working in law enforcement and for those who possess a California POST Basic Peace Officer certificate.
Hiring a new, inexperienced recruit could result in a year of training, but hiring experienced, lateral candidates can allow for Arroyo Grande Police to get their new members on the job in three to four months.
The police department hopes the incentive program will give them one more tool to bring new, qualified officers into their organization.