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Route Fifty on 9/6/2021 by Sharon O'Malley
Pandemic restrictions and other factors, more than the defund the police movement after George Floyd’s death, has forced police departments nationwide to refocus on how they reach potential candidates.
In Denver, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, commuters are driving past billboards that advertise jobs with hiring bonuses of up to $15,000—for police officers.
Meanwhile, Chandler, Arizona, is dangling incentives of up to $5,000 to attract officers and dispatchers, and Ocean County, New Jersey, has increased police salaries to as much as $130,000 a year. The national average is closer to $60,000.
Police departments across the country—large and small—are resorting to desperation-level tactics to recruit officers as a perfect storm of retirements, public scrutiny and fear has drained the pool of public safety candidates.