Council OKs bonuses to entice police officers to Everett

EVERETT — The Everett Police Department now is able to offer some officers more of a reason to choose Everett.

On Wednesday, the City Council unanimously approved an incentive program that will allow the police to offer new lateral hires from other police agencies an additional $15,000 bonus.

The intent is to help fill the department’s ongoing shortage of officers. There are currently 18 vacancies, Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman said.

The department has been hiring new officers aggressively. In the next few weeks, Templeman said, another officer is expected to be sworn in.

“That’ll be number 51 since I came police chief,” Templeman said.

Templeman became chief three years ago, and in that time, the department also has lost 48 officers to retirement mostly, but also to resignation and termination, he said.

“Those 48 officers have taken with them 942 years of experience,” he said.

Two more officers with more than 60 years of experience combined are expected to retire in June, Templeman said.

The department is prioritizing lateral hires because it costs less in time and money to get them ready for patrol.

New entry-level officers make $68,052 in base pay their first year and typically take a year or more to complete all the stages of training.

Lateral hires start with a salary of $89,184 per year, the same as a third-year officer, but the required training time can be reduced by half or more.

“Where you’re saving is in the amount of time you’re paying a new officer to not patrol the streets,” Templeman said.

By contrast, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Deputies start at $59,542 for new hires and $72,449 for lateral hires. Starting base pay for a Washington State Patrol trooper is $57,000 per year, and lawmakers just approved hikes to bring that to roughly $65,000.

Under Everett’s incentive program, new lateral hires would be paid $5,000 upon swearing in, $5,000 when the new officer is ready for solo patrols about four months in, and $5,000 at the end of the first year when the officer completes probation.

An officer who leaves the department within four years of hiring would have to pay back part of the incentive on a prorated schedule.

The money for the incentives is coming out of funds already budgeted for the unfilled positions, Templeman said.

Uncertainty remains about getting more officers on the street because the Legislature still has not agreed on a state budget. The city has lobbied Olympia to fund more candidate slots at the state police training academy.

“There’s a chance an officer hired today could sit at the Everett Police Department for 10 months before going off to academy for five more months,” Templeman told the City Council.

Mayor Ray Stephanson said that the new program might need to be adjusted when it comes up for review at the end of 2018 in order for Everett to remain competitive with other jurisdictions.

“What we’re doing here, other departments will be watching us,” Stephanson said.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Everett man dies after being hit by car in Island County

Jacob Weigert was running across State Route 20 toward a bus stop when he was hit Wednesday morning.

Lynnwood
Lynnwood police shoot at man during pursuit

The man is wanted on multiple warrants, including one for attempted murder, according to police. No one was hurt.

The “Village of Hope,” a tiny home community including 17 shelters, is set to open on Mission Hill Road in Tulalip in September. (Tulalip Tribes)
Tulalip Tribes to open tiny home village with 17 shelters

It’s called the Village of Hope. Monthly culture nights will feature classes in Lushootseed and “Tulalip cooking.”

Everett
Man shot at Everett apartment

The man in his 30s was shot Sunday night. No arrests had been made.

Arlington Public Works employees use The Big Sidewalk Sucker to lift a concrete panel from the sidewalk. The device saves the city some money and time to level ground below the concrete. (Arlington Public Works)
This thing sucks and helps repair sidewalks in Arlington

Public works crews can remove heavy concrete panels from sidewalks, so the ground underneath can be restored.

United Way of Snohomish County CEO Craig Chambers at their headquarters on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New CEO expected to reinvigorate United Way of Snohomish County

The nonprofit lost staff and funding during the pandemic. Craig Chambers wants to turn things around.

New LGI Homes on Thursday, May 12, 2022 in Sultan, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Red-hot housing market cools, a bit, in Snohomish County

The amount of housing inventory is rising. Demand is slowing. Higher mortgage rates are a cause.

John McKeon stands in front of a mobile headquarters vehicle while discussing the funding needs of Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at the search and rescue headquarters in Snohomish, Washington. McKeon said a priority for the group is to find money for new covered parking for a number of vehicles that do not have a garage to be parked in. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue wants rescuing

They’re asking for nearly $1 million in federal recovery dollars, but funding has been hard to come by.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How to answer Snohomish County’s basic crime questions? ‘Transparent data’

An initiative funded in part by Microsoft could reveal racial disparities, while creating an “apples to apples” database.

Most Read