Behind the Badge

The San Diego City Council Tuesday approved up to $400,000 over two years in bonuses for current San Diego Police Department officers who refer individuals to join the department, as well as lateral officer transfers from other agencies.

California police officers who leave their jobs to work for the San Diego Police Department will get an extra $15,000 bonus, while current SDPD officers can get up to $5,000 for recruiting other officers.

“My administration and this City Council recognize the importance of a fully staffed police department to prevent and address crime, and this incentive program will help us to recruit and retain experienced officers,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “It’s part of a larger package of programs to ensure San Diego has the best-trained, most committed officers who will help us remain one of the nation’s safest big cities.”  

The incentive programs were initially established in 2019 to address staffing issues then put on hold in 2020 due to the fiscal uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hiring lateral officers who are already certified and trained can save the city about $100,000, the average cost of putting a police recruit through a six-month academy, according to the department.

Anyone interested in joining the San Diego Police Department can go to joinSDPDnow.com to apply.



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Ellen Bullock