City approves bonuses to help fill 39 officer openings at Tuscaloosa Police Department

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 7:53 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa city leaders have taken a big step in competing with other police departments around the state. The city council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve retention bonuses, and that’s not all.

This really came down to dollars and cents and being more competitive with other police departments, according to two city councilmen.

The council voted to give $5,000 for any police officer hired after March 1. That money will be spread out once the new officer meets certain benchmarks such as getting the first $2,000 after the probationary period ends. The remaining amount comes after the second and third year of employment. Two councilmembers say they have no doubt the city can financially afford to do this.

“The city wants to do everything they can to make sure we are recruiting the best and the brightest folks in the police force, and so we’re doing everything we can to make sure we have a great shot in filling our jobs,” said Tuscaloosa City Councilman Norm Crow of District 3.

“You know there is a shortage nationwide in having the proper number of law enforcement and we want to have recruitment and retention within our police department, so I think this is a start for the sign-on bonus,” said Tuscaloosa City Councilman Matthew Wilson of District 1.

The second part is the $2,500 referral bonus, set aside for any current employee who recruits a new officer to the Tuscaloosa Police Department.

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