In order to recruit more experienced police officers to the Chino Police Department, the city council voted Feb. 4 to pay new lateral officers a $10,000 bonus: $5,000 at the time of hire and $5,000 at the completion of their probation.

Lateral means keeping the same position, but moving from one agency to another.

In the past, the city paid newly hired lateral officers the cash equivalent of 120 work hours, which at the approximate $40 to $50 per hour pay rate would be between $4,800 to $6,000 total.

A review by the city found that other cities are paying cash incentives ranging from $1,500 to $15,000 for non-sworn and sworn positions.

In addition, the council approved an incentive for newly hired, experienced police dispatchers of $2,500 at hire and $2,500 at the completion of probation. 

In a report to the council, Anthony Arroyo, the city’s director of human resources/risk management, said California’s record low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent and competition for the “shrinking pool of qualified law enforcement candidates that can successfully pass a background check” is hampering the department’s efforts to recruit new officers.

In addition, several longtime officers have retired or resigned recently. In 2019, the city hired 19 police officers and two dispatchers, many which were entry level. During that same period, 12 experienced police officers and three dispatchers retired or resigned, Mr. Arroyo reported.

He also said that on average, it will take at least 12 months for an entry level police officer or dispatcher to be fully productive because of the training they will need. Mr. Arroyo said the additional costs in salary and training for an entry level police officer or dispatcher are “conservatively between $30,000 to $40,000 more than a lateral.”

The police department is currently advertising for lateral police officers at a full-time rate that ranges from $6,641 to $8,072 per month. 

Those officers can also receive a $770 uniform allowance, $1,445 towards their health insurance, 200 sick leave hours at the time of hire, and 145 holiday hours, which can be converted to pay. 

Information about those jobs: 334-3190 or jobs@chinopd.org

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