On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council agreed to table its vote on an employee referral and recruitment signing bonus program for the Antioch Police Department.
Antioch Police Chief Steve Ford requested a continuance of the item in an effort to come back with a “more complete product”.
Councilmember Lori Ogorchock asked Ford what other information was needed as the staff report was pretty complete.
“There is a few more pieces we would like to build out to make sure you guys have all the information,” stated Ford who provided no other information.
The item was tabled in a 3-0 vote with Councilmembers Tamisha Torres-Walker and Monica Wilson were absent from the meeting.
According to sources, the item was tabled after it became clear the Mayor did not have his votes with Torres-Walker and Wilson absent from the meeting and the cost being high in an effort to hire lateral officers and attract rookie cops when compared to other departments. The same sources says the new proposal will adjust the incentives and/or timelines as well as have a plan to retain current officers.
The department stands at 102 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.
At the August 9 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 $15k for entry level.
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:
- Be currently employed as a police officer with a California law enforcement agency
- Have at least 2 years experience as a police officer and have successfully completed a probationary period
- Possess a basic California POST certificate
- 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:
- Applicant will be allowed to carry over up to 200 hours of accrued sick leave from his/her department (Currently in place)
- Prior law enforcement service seniority will be used to determine vacation accrual rate of the applicant (currently in place)
- Automatic credit of 40 hours vacation upon employment (currently in place)
- Signing Bonus of $40k with payments in the following increments:
- $20k – upon employment (increased incentive)
- $10k – upon successful completion of probation (increased incentive)
- $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)
- 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:
- Successfully complete a Basic Police Academy and posses a basic POST certificate in the State of California.
- Successfully complete the background and hiring process for the City of Antioch Police Department
- Successfully complete the Field Training Program for the City of Antioch Police DepartmentThe bonuses and incentives will consist of the following:
- Signing bonus of $15k with payments in the following increments:
- $5k – upon completion of Field Training Program (new incentive)
- $5k – upon successful completion of probation (new incentive)
- $5k – upon three (3) years of service (new incentive)
Full Agenda: Click Here