The Portland Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted on three resolutions recently to help improve the recruitment, employment and retention of police officers. The city has recently experienced some difficulty in retaining qualified police officers.
On Sept. 3, they passed a resolution to establish a hiring bonus for newly hired certified police officers. Other cities which Portland competes with in recruitment use similar strategies. A $1,500 bonus would be applied to newly hired officers with less than two year’s certified experience. In addition, newly hired officers with two or more years of certified experience would receive a bonus of $2,500.
At the Sept. 16 meeting, a resolution was passed to appropriate up to $75,000 for the pay range and wage adjustments for police officers. Those changes will be effective this fiscal year.
In addition the BOMA passed a resolution to authorize a firearms qualifications bonus for fulltime certified police officers. Those who successfully complete the city’s firearms training each year will be eligible for the $500 bonus.
Police Chief Anthony Heavner asked the BOMA to buy car cameras and body cameras for the department. Currently only four car cameras are serviceable. All the rest were malfunctioning and could no longer be repaired due to age. Bids will be requested for both items. According to Heavner, the cost is estimated to be in excess of $230,000.