Salinas City Council approves cash incentives for new police hires to help with staffing shortage
SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- The Salinas City Council approved cash incentives to help the Salinas Police Department fill 19 vacant positions.
Salinas Police Chief Roberto Filice made his presentation to the city council and they approved the cash incentives for ten lateral Police Officers and for ten new police recruits. A $2,5000 referral bonus was also approved for eligible staff members that refer an officer or recruit.
Later Police Officers will receive $27,500 for accepting a job with Salinas Police and new officer recruits will receive $10,000.
Filice said in a January Staffing and Call Prioritization report that Salinas Police has lost 46 sworn officers. Thirteen of those officers accepted jobs with other departments and four went on to pursue other jobs.
During the current fiscal year the police department has received 77 applicants, said the city council. Salinas Police said that between Jan. 2014 and May 2022, the City of Salinas received 2,603 applications.
"Human Resources and the Police Department have coordinated 10 interviews; 20 candidates have been interviewed, 6 candidates have been disqualified through the background process, and 5 conditional offers have been extended," said the city council.
The city has hired four new police recruits, one was an internal promotion and another was a lateral Police Officer.
The incentives would be paid in installments as follows:
Later Police Officer: $7,500 upon hire, $10,000 upon successful completion of the Field Training Program,
and $10,000 one year from completion of the Field Training Program
Police Recruit: $5,000 upon hire, $5,000 one year from completion of the Field Training Program.
The overall cost for the incentive is expected to be $425,000.
Salinas Police said due to a lack of employees they have had to implement a Police Call Prioritization
and Call Response Strategy to ensure in-person police officer response is dedicated to the highest priority calls. Meaning some calls for service will be delayed or given an alternate response if not deemed a high enough priority.
Police have broken their calls into four groups based on priority. Ranging from Priority 1 Calls to Priority 4 Calls.
For a link to the full police report, click here.