Antioch Council to consider signing bonuses for recruiting lateral police officers at Tuesday meeting

An effort to increase number of sworn from current 96 to 103 budgeted and 111 promised

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 28 the Antioch City Council will consider offering signing bonuses of $10,000 each, to help attract and recruit police officers from other agencies to come to work for the Antioch Police Department. It is part of a proposed employee referral and recruitment program that includes signing bonus/incentives for qualified lateral police officers. The effort is expected to help increase sooner the number of sworn officers, which has been a struggle since the Measure C half-cent sales tax was placed on the ballot and passed in 2013. Police recruiting bonuses ACC112817 Item 9

Currently the city has 96 sworn officers on the force, just seven more than the 89 when Measure C was placed on the ballot in 2013. The staff report states that since Measure C passed, “forty-nine (49) sworn officers have been hired. During that same period however, thirty-five (35) sworn officers have separated employment, resulting in only a net gain of fourteen (14) sworn officers.” However, seven of the positions were funded in the 2013-14 budget, approved before the sales tax measure passed and collection of the additional revenues began.

The mayor and council at that time stated there were 89 sworn officers on the force and promised to hire 22 additional sworn officers immediately if voters passed Measure C to increase the total number of sworn officers to 111. However, the city budget only includes a total of 103 sworn officers in this fiscal year’s budget and 104 in next year’s.

The staff report explains that the “The fiscal impact will be determined solely by the number of lateral applicants hired while the program is in effect. Per lateral officer, the fiscal impact is estimated to be $23,253. This assumes the lateral officer is hired at Step E and is eligible to take

advantage of the full incentive package. However, financial incentives are distributed in three separate increments over the course of three years, and leave incentives would be taken in much smaller increments (if at all). lt is believed most, if not all, of the costs would be covered through salary savings from vacancies.”

The report further explains the reason for the proposed incentives. “The recruitment of qualified lateral applicants for the position of police officer is becoming increasingly difficult, as the job market is very open and competitive. Recently, the department scheduled interviews for five lateral officers from four different agencies, and none of them showed up. Additionally, we had two recent lateral hires (from Oakland PD) that quit and returned back to their agency in large part due to financial incentives Oakland offered for them to return. Many departments have adopted recruitment incentives to attract qualified laterals,” including Palo Alto, Modesto, Fairfield and BART. Incentives offered by those department range in size from $10,000 to $25,000.

The matter is the final item on the agenda for council meeting which begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, located at W. Third, W. Second and H Streets in downtown. You can also watch it live on local cable access channel 24 or livestreaming on the city’s website at http://www.ci.antioch.ca.us/CityGov/citycouncilmeetings.htm.

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Police recruiting bonuses ACC112817 Item 9
Police recruiting bonuses ACC112817 Item 9


3 Comments to “Antioch Council to consider signing bonuses for recruiting lateral police officers at Tuesday meeting”

  1. RJB says:

    Instead of throwing more tax payer money at the problem, why don’t we identify the real issue why police officers don’t want to work in Antioch? Aka, why does Antioch have an issue with hiring seasoned and or well qualified police officers? Hmmm ….

  2. Julio says:

    Just another way to try and get Measure C passed, extended or doubled which is what they are trying to do.

  3. Rjb says:

    Another “hide the real issue at the expense of the hard working tax payers”. This and that whole bit about spending $75k to make our schools look good. If you have to spend extra money to make something look good, and or to entice people to enforce the Antioch streets, is never a good sign. IMHO.

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