Home Antioch Antioch City Council Set to Discuss Bonus Package to Hire More Cops

Antioch City Council Set to Discuss Bonus Package to Hire More Cops

by ECT

On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council will discuss an employee referral and recruitment signing bonus program for the Antioch Police Department. The goal of the bonus package is to attract both lateral officers and rookie cops.

The discussion comes after Antioch Police Chief Steve Ford requested a continuance of the item in an effort to come back with a “more complete product”.

The changes from the agenda item from two weeks ago include increased bonus pay for rookie cops from $5k to $20k, its added back in the homeownership incentive of up to $60k and included a repayment of bonuses in the event of separation.

The department stands at 101 sworn officers with an approval of up to 115 cops.

This item was before the City Council after Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference on April 4 in response to low police staffing levels and pressure put on by citizens regarding public safety. Thorpe announced a $40k signing bonus for new cops along with down-payment assistance.

At the time, the police department was down to just 78-active officers due to injury and various officers on administrative leave.

The item also returned after three Antioch City Council members (Mike Barbanica, Lori Ogorchock and Tamisha Torres-Walker) had asked the mayor several times to place an agenda item for hiring/retention of police over the past six months. Prior to the April meeting, Thorpe had not placed the item on any agenda.

During the April 26 council meeting, the council discussed the incentive programs, but opted to direct staff to work on the item and bring it back for further discussion.

Tuesdays Meeting:

At the August 23 meeting, the council will be asked to approve the resolution which the fiscal impact will be tied to the number of lateral and/or entry level applicants hired while the program is in effect—approximately $50k for laterals and $40-60k for entry level. The up to $60k may be in the form of a loan that may be applied towards the purchase of a home in the City of Antioch.

Current recruitment incentives in other police agencies include:

  • City of Pittsburg offering $15k hiring bonus for laterals.
  • City of Palo Alto offering $25k hiring bonus for laterals and $10k for academy graduates
  • Alameda County Sheriff offering $12k hiring bonus and $10k for academy graduates
  • City of Alameda offering $30k hiring bonus for lateral officers
  • City of Brentwood – no bonus
  • City of Oakley – no bonus

Recommended Program Details for Lateral Police Officers

To qualify for the onus and incentive program, the applicant must:

  1. Be currently employed as a police officer with a California law enforcement agency
  2. Have at least 2 years experience as a police officer and have successfully completed a probationary period
  3. Possess a basic California POST certificate
  4. If the application is a former Antioch Police Officer who wishes to return to the department, his/her separation of employment must be at least 18-months to qualify.

The Bonus and Incentives will consist of the following:

  1. Applicant will be allowed to carry over up to 200 hours of accrued sick leave from his/her department (Currently in place)
  2. Prior law enforcement service seniority will be used to determine vacation accrual rate of the applicant (currently in place)
  3. Automatic credit of 40 hours vacation upon employment (currently in place)
  4. Signing Bonus of $40k with payments in the following increments:
    1. $20k – upon employment (increased incentive)
    2. $10k – upon successful completion of probation (increased incentive)
    3. $10k – upon three (3) years of service (increased incentive)
      (Any leave without pay would be discounted from total years of service for purposes of determining incremental, bonus payment dates for individual employees)
  5. Any current Antioch employee who recruits a lateral officer will receive his/her choice of $1,000 or 20 hours of Comp Time upon laterals successful completion of the field training program (currently in place)

Recommended Program Details for Entry Level (Academy graduate and Recruit) Police Officers (open to all qualifying entry level officers hired from August 9, 2022 until August 8, 2023)

To qualify for the bonuses and incentives, the applicant must:

  1. Successfully complete a Basic Police Academy and posses a basic POST certificate in the State of California.
  2. Successfully complete the background and hiring process for the City of Antioch Police Department
  3. Successfully complete the Field Training Program for the City of Antioch Police DepartmentThe bonuses and incentives will consist of the following:
  4. Signing bonus of $40k with payments in the following increments:
    1. $20k – upon completion of Field Training Program (new incentive)
    2. $10k – upon successful completion of probation (new incentive)
    3. $10k – upon three (3) years of service (new incentive)

Alternative Proposed Home ownership Incentive for Academy Graduates, Subject to Further Research by Staff and Final Approval by the City Council

Academy Graduate Antioch Homeownership Incentive of up to $60k, which may be deposited directly into an escrow account or issued as a loan that can be forgiven over the time for purchasing a (new or existing) single-family home in the City of Antioch. This Antioch Home Ownership Incentive would be an agreement between the Police officer and the City of Antioch, contingent upon the Officers employment with the city, not ownership of that particular dwelling. The incentive agreement may require the city to forgive up to 5% of the loan for every year of employment with the city as a police officer for up to 20-years. The agreement and the loan would terminate or sunset in accordance with the termination provisions of the contract. Up to 5% per year may be added to the officers W-2 at the end of each year as income based on loan forgiveness. If, for any reason, the officers employment terminates with the city prior to the sunset date, the remaining amount of the load would be due and payable by the officer.

Repayment of Bonuses and Incentives

  1.  If separation occurs before completion of the probationary period, applicant shall reimburse the city $20k
  2. If separation occurs before completion of 3 years of employment, applicant shall reimburse the city $30k
  3. If separation occurs before completion of 5 years of employment, applicant shall reimburse the city for the full $40k.

Such reimbursement shall be immediately due and payable without notice. Any unpaid balance of the signing bonus shall first be deducted from the applicants final paycheck. In the event the final paycheck is not sufficient to pay the balance of the signing bonus, then any resultant balance must be paid, in full, with other resources of the applicant.

Antioch City Council Agenda
7:00 pm
200 H Street, Antioch CA
Full Agenda: Click Here

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1 comment

Frank Aug 22, 2022 - 6:12 am

There sure are alot of numbers being thrown out there. Show the public the bottom line. Also let’s have the mayor come out and tell us how defunding the police is wrong and eat some crow. Along with all his cronie friends should speak at council meeting.

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