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Portland OKs $25K hiring bonus for lateral officers, $5K for unarmed support staff

Officers must pay back all or part of the bonus if they leave in their first five years


Beth Nakamura

By Suzie Ziegler

PORTLAND, Ore. — Hiring bonuses are coming to the Portland Police Bureau as the city faces record low-low staffing levels, KGW 8 reported on Wednesday. And the cash isn’t just for cops. Portland will also be offering hiring bonuses to its new division of unarmed Public Safety Support Specialists, or PS3s, the report said.

On Wednesday, the Portland City Council approved $500,000 in funding to offer $25,000 hiring bonuses for lateral officers and $3,000 to $5,000 for the support specialists, according to KGW 8.

The bonuses aim to keep the Portland Police Bureau competitive with other recruiting agencies and boost retention, Capt. Anthony Passdore told KGW 8. The bonuses are contingent on a job offer, but lateral officers will have to pay back all or part of their bonus if they leave within five years, according to the report.

The PS3s will also be receiving a bonus, albeit a much more modest one. The unarmed citizens would receive their bonus in three installments: $1,500 upon being sworn in, $1,500 after their probationary period ends and $2,000 after three years of service, the report said.

PS3s help with lower priority calls to free up sworn officers, KGW 8 reported. They can help with cold stolen vehicle and theft calls, suspicious person calls, vandalism, traffic management and searching for missing persons, among other things. PS3s have been part of the PPB since 2019, although Mayor Ted Wheeler proposed hiring 28 more in April of this year.

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