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Calif. PD offers $75K signing bonus to new officers

Alameda is offering what they believe to be the largest LEO signing bonus in the country


Alameda Police Department/Twitter

By Bill Carey

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Alameda Police Department is offering what may be the largest signing bonus in the country to attract new officers and fill long-standing vacancies in the department.

Alameda Police Chief Nishant Joshi said the bonus is more about reform-minded policing than putting money into officers’ pockets, The Mercury News reported. Bonuses in neighboring cities range from $5,000 in San Francisco to $30,000 in San Mateo.

“Community policing is about building relationships,” said Joshi. “It’s hard to do that when you’re covering three or four neighborhoods because of a staffing shortage.” The department is operating at a 30% staffing deficit that Joshi calls dangerous.

Officers are now working mandatory overtime because of the shortfall. The city currently has only one police officer assigned to traffic enforcement.

Joshi believes that the substantial signing bonus will attract diverse candidates, increase staffing and allow the department to police proactively rather than reactively.

“In a perfect world, you get all the candidates and then you’re able to select the best,” he said. “I don’t want to compete with anyone. I want to be at the top.”

Money for the bonus will come from the department’s budget. Officers are required to commit to the city for five years to earn the full $75,000.