Decatur Police sees boost in recruitment due to bonus program

The Decatur Police Department is edging more potential candidates.
Published: Jun. 24, 2023 at 4:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2023 at 11:16 AM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - The Decatur Police Department (DPD) is edging more potential candidates with its newly created referral bonus program.

According to WAFF’s newspaper partner, The Decatur Daily, Decatur City Council approved the program in December 2022, which has effectively helped gain more traction with applicants seeking to join the department.

The main incentive is for every current officer that refers someone to be hired through recruitment will receive $5,000. The new hire will also reap the benefits, receiving $5,000 and will thus be required to stay with the department for at least two years.

Application numbers continue to rise for DPD.

A total of 54 applications were received in the cycle that ended in March and made a total of 13 job offers. DPD received another 22 applications in the latest hiring cycle, which ran from April to June, per DPD Chief Todd Pinion.

To paint more of a picture of how the new program has helped gain applicants, in all of 2022 DPD hired only 12 new officers and in the Dec. 2021 hiring cycle only two.

“We really encouraged our own employees to get out and recruit candidates and eight of the 13 are through the referral program,” said DPD Human Resources Director Richelle Sandlin.

Pinion said he believes the big reason applications for recruitment are up are due to attitudes toward police improving nationally.

Applicants interested in joining will go through a lengthy process including: an interview, physical fitness test, written test and a background check with a drug screening.

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