Antioch city council set to vote on incentive scheme to help recruit more cops

On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council will vote on an employee recruitment and referral bonus program for the Antioch Police Department.

If approved, it would increase its incentive program to its employee referral program and its signing bonus and recruiting incentive program for qualified lateral and entry-level police officers. This is in response to low police numbers after an exodus of officers under the leadership of the mayor Lamar Thorpe and City Council.

The police department was briefly staffed with 115 officers last year under Chief of Police Tammany Brooks. The police department had 102 officers on its books and is authorized to hire up to 115 officers.

This item comes to City Council after Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference on April 4 in response to low police numbers and citizen pressure regarding public safety. Thorpe announced a $40,000 signing bonus for new cops as well as down payment assistance.

At the time, the police department had only 78 active officers due to injuries and various officers on administrative leave.

The article also returns after three members of the city council of Antioch (Mike Barbanica, Lori Ogorchock and Tamisha TorresWalker) had repeatedly asked the mayor to put an item on the agenda on police hiring/retention over the past six months. Prior to the April meeting, Thorpe had not put this item on any agenda.

According to the staff report, the police department is licensed for 115 sworn officers and has 105 officers. They did not provide an active agent count, but said they expect 10 separations to come over the next year.

At the April 26 board meeting, the board discussed incentive programs, but elected to have staff work on the item and bring it back for further discussion.

Tuesday meeting:

At the August 9 meeting, the board will be asked to approve the resolution that the tax impact will be tied to the number of lateral and/or entry-level candidates hired while the program is in effect – approximately $50,000 for laterals and $15,000 for entry level.

Current recruitment incentives in other police services include:

  • The city of Pittsburgh is offering a $15,000 hiring bonus for fullbacks.
  • City of Palo Alto offers $25,000 hiring bonus for fullbacks and $10,000 for academy graduates
  • Alameda County Sheriff Offers $12,000 Hiring Bonus and $10,000 to Academy Graduates
  • City of Alameda offers $30,000 hiring bonus to side officers
  • Town of Brentwood – no bonus
  • Town of Oakley – no bonus

Recommended Curriculum Details for Lateral Constables

To be eligible for the bond and incentive program, the applicant must:

  1. Be currently employed as a police officer in a California law enforcement agency
  2. Have at least 2 years of experience as a police officer and have successfully completed a probationary period
  3. Possess a basic California POST certificate
  4. If the nominee is a former Antioch police officer who wishes to return to the department, their job separation must be at least 18 months to qualify. The bonus and incentives will include the following:
  5. The applicant will be permitted to carry over up to 200 hours of accrued sick leave from their department (Currently in place)
  6. Prior law enforcement seniority will be used to determine the applicant’s vacation accrual rate (currently in place)
  7. Automatic credit of 40 hours of vacation on hiring (currently in place)
  8. $40,000 signing bonus with payouts in the following installments:
    1. $20,000 – employed (increased incentive)
    2. $10,000 – at the end of probation (increased incentive)
    3. $10,000 – after three (3) years of service (increased incentive)
      (Any unpaid leave would be deducted from the total number of years of service for purposes of determining additional bonus payment dates for individual employees)
  9. Any current Antioch employee who recruits a side officer will receive their choice of $1,000 or 20 hours of compensation time once the side has successfully completed the field training program (currently in place)

Recommended program details for entry-level police officers (academy graduates and recruits) (open to all qualified entry-level officers hired August 9, 2022 through August 8, 2023)

To benefit from bonuses and incentives, the candidate must:

  1. Successfully complete a basic police academy and possess a basic POST certificate in the state of California.
  2. Successfully complete the background and hiring process for the Antioch City Police Department
  3. Successfully complete the Field Training Program for the Antioch City Police DepartmentBounties and Incentives will include the following:
  4. $15,000 signing bonus with payouts in the following increments:
    1. $5,000 – upon completion of the field training program (new incentive)
    2. $5,000 – at the end of probation (new incentive)
    3. $5,000 – after three (3) years of service (new incentive)

Antioch City Council Meeting

Tuesday August 9
7:00 p.m.
Council Chambers (200 H Street, Antioch CA)
Full agenda: Click here

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