FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Police departments up and down the state are looking to hire officers from other agencies as they rebuild their own, and Fresno is no exception.
With violent crime on the rise and this year's city budget mandating more officers on the streets, Chief Jerry Dyer is looking for more than just someone in a uniform.
He wants the best of the best.
"We're looking for people that are willing to sacrifice to go out and work nights and weekends and holidays for the betterment of our community," Dyer said. "And that's a rare breed but those are the people that we're seeking."
In order to attract that breed, the city and the Fresno Police Officers Association have struck up a side letter of incentives for lateral hires, or officers with two years of experience in California.
"....officers that are pre-trained, that when they get to our agency they are street-ready, with the exception of going through a field training program," Dyer said.
The incentives include up to $10,000 in bonuses, plus 40 hours of vacation leave and 40 hours of sick leave. Fresno Police Officer Association President Jacky Parks says he's already getting several calls a day from interested officers, wondering if the deal is for real.
"We're hoping that by offering these incentives to laterals that we get that quick injection of officers that we can put right in to the workforce," Parks said.
Parks says the department is at a breaking point. They're understaffed, issuing $27,000 in overtime every week, and losing an average of three officers a month.
But over the next 12 months, those behind the proposal say it will go a long ways towards keeping the department competitive, and most importantly, keeping citizens safe.
Dyer says there are also incentives for Fresno police officers who refer a lateral hire, up to $1,000 per hire.
Currently his department has 706 sworn officers and the budget calls for 760 within the next year. City council is expected to vote on the incentives proposal Thursday night.
Fresno Police incentives proposal includes bonus of up to $10,000
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