Craig Police boosting benefits to try to improve recruitment |

Craig Police boosting benefits to try to improve recruitment

The Moffat County Public Safety Center includes the offices of the Craig Police Department.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

To combat the recruiting struggles that police departments across the state are facing, the Craig Police Department is amping up benefits for officers looking to join CPD.

For some time now, CPD has been short staffed — even with four cadets and CSOs on their way to peace officer training in January, two openings will remain on the force. At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, a new police officer recruitment officer flyer was presented to the council and featured some of the compensation that will be given to new officers. Benefits include higher education or training reimbursement, rent subsidy, 10 paid holidays and health insurance.

City manager Peter Brixius said that the benefits featured on the flyer are a combination of the most essential benefits needed to compete with other departments in the region. He added that CPD is looking for more experienced officers, not just recent academy graduates. In Craig, POST-certified applicants with no previous experience can receive a $5,000 sign-on bonus, an officer with 0-3 years experience can receive $7,500 and anyone with over three years can receive $10,000.

“Of course, where we may be fortunate enough to fill most of those positions over the next year, it’s going to take some time with a trainee,” Brixius said. “We’re looking at nine months out — with the six months of POST certification training and they have to do (field training) — so there’s another three months. So any officer we’re sending today is not going to be able to solo until October at a minimum.”

Brixius added that currently budgeting — along with current salary savings as a result of being understaffed — will not be greatly impacted by the size of the sign-on bonuses. The bonuses, he said, are to help attract officers with longer tenures. The housing stipend would be temporary for new officers and would only last a few months.

“Housing is a really difficult thing,” Brixius said. “The last officer we brought in — I think he was in temporary housing for six months, trying to identify a place for him and his family. But we think those are some of the essential and attractive recruiting opportunities or recruiting incentives that we can offer. That shouldn’t be all that impactful when you’re looking at one, two, maybe three officers in the course of the year.”

CPD is still providing salaries and benefits to the four cadets going to POST certification, but those will be covered by American Rescue Plan funds.

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