New incentives for Columbus Police Department officers
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Following the recent heightened crime throughout the Fountain City, the Columbus Police Department is calling on all community members to step up to the plate and join in the fight against crime.
If you’ve ever thought about being a part of the force, now is your time to join the black and blue.
We’re in the midst of a nationwide police shortage right now, and the Columbus Police Department is not excluded.
Thanks to a new incentive program being rolled out through the City of Columbus, though, CPD recruiters are holding on to hope, and things are looking up.
“The command staff showed up, and we just watched the process,” Assistant Chief of Police J. Dent-Fitzpatrick said. “It was very, very good to see the people of Columbus Police Department work together, especially on an off day.”
Just two weeks ago, the Columbus Police Department joined forces with Columbus State University to host a hiring event. Fourteen new patrol officers are now going through training to start guarding the streets of Columbus.
CPD has lost several officers in the past few years for several reasons, but now, Dent-Fitzpatrick explained that circumstances are changing throughout the agency, specifically when it comes to recruiting.
“Technology has really sped up the process,” she said. “So when we do the final interview with the command staff, the chief always asks, ‘How long did it take?’ and ‘What was your experience like?’. This gives us guidelines on what we can improve upon to make the process more streamlined.”
The process to vet and train up officers usually taking no longer than two months recently.
Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said in the past three years, officers have received a 10.5% pay raise across the board, but he’s not stopping there.
City council recently approved a recruiting and retention package which includes a $5,000 sign on bonus.
Also, happening now, the city commissioned a pay study, which Henderson said should be implemented by early next year. To bridge the gap in the mean time, CPD officers are receiving $1,500 bonuses each quarter.
“To be a productive and compassionate police officer, you have to dig deep down into your heart to say ‘This is what I want to do.’ That ‘protect and serve’ is a generic term,” Dent-Fitzpatrick said. “I go with let’s be concerned. Let’s get out here and guard. Let’s get out here and do what all of us need to do, and that is live in a safe environment.”
If you want to apply to become a Columbus Police officer, click here.
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