Courtesy Photo, Renton Police

Courtesy Photo, Renton Police

Renton increases hiring bonus for new police officers

Bonus is a $20,000 payment upon hire and $20,000 payment upon completion of a one year probation.

The Renton City Council approved a program increasing the hiring bonuses for experienced police officers in an effort to fill officer vacancies in the Renton Police Department.

Council members voted at a city meeting on April 1 to approve the increased hiring bonuses for lateral police officers (hired from other agencies), raising the bonus from a $10,000 payment upon hire and $10,000 payment upon completion of a one year probation, to a $20,000 payment upon hire and $20,000 payment upon completion of an one-year probation.

According to city council documents, the approved change in compensation for lateral officers will serve as a temporary incentive and will revert back to the $10,000 bonuses after Dec. 31, 2024.

According to council documents, the Renton Police Department, as of April 1, has six unfilled commissioned officer positions and five entry level officers currently in the academy, with three more pending to start employment, scheduled to start in June.

According to council documents, an entry level officer in the state of Washington requires approximately 42 weeks of training from the initial hire date prior to deployment in patrol as a “fully functional officer,” factoring in Basic Law Enforcement Academy, post-academy training at the department and field training.

Training for a lateral hire typically ranges from 14 to 20 weeks from the hiring date, consisting of orientation and field training.

“The department is saving at least twenty-two weeks of compensation by hiring a lateral officer in exchange for $40,000. ... It equates to a savings of $59,200,” said Police Chief Jon Schuldt, in a memorandum to the Renton City Council. “The department will also save on registration fees paid to [the Criminal Justice Training Commission] for each student officer while at the academy, $5,000 per student. ... By implementing this proposal, we are looking to increase our applicant pool and allow us to deploy officers at a much faster rate.”

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