Seattle mayor rolls out plan to recruit 500 new police officers over next five years, including hiring incentives

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has proposed a new plan to attract and recruit 500 new officers to the Seattle police force over the next five years, including offering hiring bonuses to new recruits and those who move to the force laterally from other places.

“We’re going to get a little more sophisticated in our approach, because, as you well know, in the private sector, companies spend a lot of money in advertising and recruiting,” said Harrell at a press conference this week. The plan, The Police Recruitment and Retention Plan, details proposed measures for bringing new law enforcement officers to the area, including hiring bonuses and referral bonuses.

The plan would offer a hiring bonus of up to $7,500 for new recruits and up to $30,000 for those who move from other cities to take lateral positions with the Seattle Police Department.

In the last two years, SPD has experienced a major staff decrease, with over 400 members resigning or retiring since 2020, according to The Seattle Times. The goal of the Recruitment and Retention Plan is to bring staff levels up to 1,450 in the next half a decade, up from its current 954.

The plan also offers a referral bonus of up to $1,000 for any SPD employee who refers someone. The referral bonus would be paid out once the referred individual is hired or enters the state police academy.

The Recruitment and Retention Plan also includes the creation of programs that would help “inspire and maintain candidate interest,” including a ride-along program, a “no candidate left behind” program, and a recruitment ambassador program. The mayor does not expect negotiations on the plan to wrap up in time for the finalization of the 2023 budget.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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