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Hiring Hoosiers: Bloomington Police Department offering new hiring, retention incentives

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Posted at 10:39 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 22:47:56-04

BLOOMINGTON — The City of Bloomington is offering several new incentives and higher salaries for city officers in an effort to attract and retain more candidates.

It's funded in part through Mayor John Hamilton's Recover Forward initiative and the newly-approved Local Income Tax increase, according to a news release from the City.

Included in the new incentives are the following, according to the release:

  • $5,000 signing bonus for applicants that are already a certified police officer
  • $3,000 signing bonus for non-certified applicants
  • $1,000 quarterly retention bonus in 2022
  • $750 monthly rent assistance, beginning at the start of employment, for officers that rent a residence within the city
  • $18,000 one-time down payment assistance for officers that purchase a residence within the city after a probationary year
  • Take-home patrol vehicle for officers that live within the city

“We are grateful to our high-quality and well-trained police officers and dedicated to taking seriously the recommendations of the Future of Policing Task Force, the first of which addresses paying and retaining the people that work at the front lines of public safety in our community,” Hamilton said in a statement. “Our City Council and the administration worked together to pass the Recover Forward initiative and an increase in the Local Income Tax to provide for these incentives, salary increases, and support of our nationally accredited Police Department, which ultimately supports our community as a whole," he said.

The salary increases were agreed upon through the collective bargaining process and are reflected in the latest contract between the city government and the Fraternal Order of Police, according to the release.

The new CBA increases the salary of an Officer First class by 13.2% in 2023. That means the salary for officers who have completed their probationary year and the starting salary for those hired who are already certified officers will be $66,327 next year.

Additionally, the total percentage increase in the Officer First Class salary over the four years of the CBA is 21.9%, according to the release.

"The mental health and physical safety of BPD officers are top of mind in the important task of recruiting and retaining a well-trained and highly disciplined department. All improvements in fully funding public safety will include keeping pace with the needs of police officers,” said City Council President Susan Sandberg in a statement. “The City Council has pushed hard to restore what has been lost, to increase public confidence in our police department, and to give patrol officers all due respect for their sacrifices and professionalism."

On top of the incentives, the Police Department is also offering unlimited free access to a workout facility and a tactical athletic trainer for both on and off-duty injuries and injury prevention. Police social workers and a peer support group will also be made available to employees.

Anyone interested in applying to become an officer can do so online.

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