New recruits to the county’s police department can receive a $20,000 bonus under the terms of an agreement between the county and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #35, officials announced.
In testimony before the Public Safety Committee of the County Council, Chief Marcus Jones said the department is currently short 129 sworn officers.
“This signing bonus is going to put us on a level playing field with competing jurisdictions for potential police officer candidates,” Jones said in a press release. “Without these bonuses, we would be at a disadvantage.”
The announcement comes as the department prepares for the next recruitment class scheduled to begin in June.
“By increasing the starting salaries for police officers, we have moved Montgomery County into a better recruiting position,” said County Executive Marc Elrich in the release.
The bonus payments would be made in increments, starting with 10% of the total that would come after a new recruit’s first day as a county employee.
The funding is coming from the savings accrued from personnel vacancies within the police department; the County Council would have to approve the program for the budgets for fiscal 2024 and beyond.
Councilmember Sidney Katz, chair of the County’s Public Safety Commission, sees the bonus program as an important step in enhancing the department's ability to recruit the complement of officers needed in Montgomery County effectively. https://t.co/nzeEcnM1Al
— Montgomery County MD (@MontgomeryCoMD) February 22, 2023