The Portland Police Department is now offering $10,000 signing bonuses in an effort to help recruit new officers and telecommunicators in the Portland Regional Community Dispatch Center. The Department is looking to hire 10 new officers to start the Police Academy this August. The new recruits would receive a $2,500 bonus upon their swearing-in, $2,500 upon completion of the Academy and the 14-week field training program, and $5,000 upon completion of a 2-year probationary period.
The Department is also currently looking to hire four telecommunicators. Telecommunicators will receive $2,500 upon their first day of employment, $2,500 after completing the six-month field training program, and $5,000 after two-years of employment.
Newly hired officers and telecommunicators who take part in the bonus program must enter into a contract with the Portland Police Department that requires them to pay back the bonuses if they leave before completing five years of service with the City.
“The reality today is that the folks we find are our best candidates have skills that are in high demand and this allows them to choose from many opportunities,” said Chief Michael Sauschuck. “We hire less than 6% of our current police officer candidates because we have high standards for those who serve our community and our focus will always be on quality over quantity.”
Chief Sauschuck continued, “however, I am concerned about the stress that these vacancies put on our current employees and our overall mission, which is why we’ve decided to implement the signing bonuses. We’ve also found that over the years our internal employees are our best recruiters, so we’ll be doubling our current referral bonus to $2,000.”
The Portland Police Department regularly participates in job fairs across the region, most recently attending one at Anna Maria College in Massachusetts. The Department offers candidates a busy, urban policing environment with a strong commitment to community policing, great training, numerous specialty teams, a state-of-the-art crime lab, an in-house firing range, and is an approved on-the-job training site for GI Bill benefits for the first two years. In 2016, new officers averaged an annual salary of $54,000 plus benefits.