New Missouri City police and firefighter hires could see changes to the city’s incentive program.

The background

With a need for more qualified police officers and firefighters, in 2022 Missouri City City Council approved a $10,000 signing incentive for entry-level police officers and a $6,000 signing incentive for entry-level firefighters.

Additionally, firefighters with three or more years of experience can qualify for a $10,000 signing incentive, according to agenda documents.

What you need to know

City Council revisited the payment schedule at a March 4 meeting with a first reading of new ordinances by the police and fire departments.

The new ordinance would change the dates of payouts for police hires to:
  • First half of the payment after completing field training
  • Remaining payment prior to the officer’s one-year anniversary
“This change puts us in line with other civil services agencies in the area, and it also ensures the officers will complete the training program before any bonus money is paid out,” Police Chief Brandon Harris said.

The department also decided to change one of the requirements to receive the bonus. The policy currently states officers have only 45 days to complete the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s peace officer certification; the change would now allow 120 days to complete the certification, Harris said.

The fire department also made similar date changes to its payouts, which include:
  • First half of the payment after completing Phase 1 of field training
  • Remaining payment prior to the firefighter’s one-year anniversary
The fire department had previously been awarding the first half of the incentive to applicants upon their start date, Fire Chief Mario Partida said.

What’s next

City Council will hear the ordinance’s second reading at its next meeting on March 18. If approved, the ordinance is set to take effect April 1.