During its Nov. 20 meeting, Rollingwood City Council approved a sign-on bonus agreement for RPD stipulating that new officers are eligible for the bonus, with 50% paid upon completion of Rollingwood’s Field Training Officer program and 50% paid upon successful completion of 18 months of employment.
“Our chief of police has been pretty proactive and thoughtful,” Mayor Michael Dyson said regarding the introduction of the incentive plan. “Perhaps to make the city of Rollingwood a little more competitive, especially while we’re down a couple of officers, it might be good to be able to advertise a signing bonus.”
In return for the bonus, officers for RPD must agree to work for the department for at least two years. Another stipulation—one among many—is that an officer who resigns before the two-year mark will be required to return the bonus on a pro-rata basis to the city, per the agreement.
“Should the Employee be terminated for cause before the above stated ending date, the employee shall have the duty to repay all amounts already paid to employee under this agreement in full,” the agreement states.
Rollingwood Police Chief Jason Brady said the current law enforcement recruitment landscape is extremely competitive.
“I can tell you in Corpus [Christi, where Brady was previously the police captain], it used to be 1,000 people applying to 20 positions,” Brady said. “Now, we’re lucky to get a couple hundred.”
Brady said he is currently working on a salary study for his department; he said a new pay scale for officers could be worth looking into, but a signing bonus is a good start. He added the goal is not just to get more officers but to get more quality officers.