To our readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century type story, ... Click here to continue

Rockland may offer bonuses to add more police officers

By Stephen Betts | May 01, 2021

Rockland — Faced with a shortage of police officers, the Rockland City Council will consider whether to offer signing bonuses.

Rockland Police Chief Christopher Young has proposed the order that will be considered by the City Council when it meets online Monday evening at 5:30. A vote on the proposed order would be held Monday, May 10.

The proposed order would offer bonuses of $10,000 for officers who are hired and complete their field training. The officers will be required to sign a contract to say they will remain with Rockland for five years. Failure to follow through with that term would result in the money being repaid to the city.

Current Rockland officers would be paid $1,000 for each officer they successfully recruit.

The proposal is necessitated by an increase in vacancies. The department has three vacancies and a fourth is expected later this month when an officer transfers to the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Other departments across Maine and the country have used signing bonuses. Portland began offering $10,000 bonuses in 2017 and Orono in 2020.

The lack of candidates nationwide has been a problem for much of the past decade but has worsened in recent years as fewer people enter the profession.

Rockland has 18 uniformed officer positions that include the three vacant positions.

 

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at knox.villagesoup.com/join.
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at knox.villagesoup.com/donate.
Comments (6)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | May 02, 2021 16:10

Stephen

The City is spending money that no one knows about because the meetings are closed doors.  Check out the minutes of some council meetings.  I did.  The City manager put it out there to spend over $50,000 on the meadow brook bridge.  It passed.  Where is that money coming from?  There is more unnecessary spending.  It appalls me to know what the city government is spending!



Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | May 02, 2021 10:11

Val the thinking that throwing more money will solve any problem has been the corner stone of the Maine Democratic party for many years now.  If we can't solve the problem it's because we just havn't thrown enough money at it.  If you offered a  signing bonus to new hires, how would that make your current workers feel ?  I could be wrong, it did happen once, maybe most people in town feel our Police dept should be bigger and better.  Well then open your checkbooks and be prepared to throw a few extra bucks against the wall and watch for the outcome.



Posted by: Valerie Wass | May 02, 2021 06:31

Stephen,

I own a business and it is very very difficult to "get along with fewer employees".  Ask any business.  Every business is looking to hire but the Federal government made it way too easy for people to collect unemployment and keep receiving stimulus checks.  So many do not have work ethic any longer.  I want our city to feel safe.  In order for that to happen, we need the police force.



Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | May 01, 2021 15:15

Gotta get that budget up to 2.5 mil somehow. This should just about do it.



Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | May 01, 2021 09:59

Can a taxpayer get a grand off their property tax for recommending a recruit? Eliminating the radar checks on the Old County Road would be better than eliminating the night shift. We had a crime watch once but not all in the blue brotherhood want private citizens in their realm. If a signing bonus has a five year clause then pay the money at the end of five years. That would guarantee the money would not have to be paid back. Why not give a new recruit a reduction on property tax and they can live in town and we all win.



Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | May 01, 2021 09:33

In what way does this help to reduce the police budget ?  This City Department could do the same as so many other businesses are currently doing, get along with fewer employees.  They could elinimate the overnight shift, "the Bog patrol"  or they could institute a "neighborhood watch" program.  Nationally many communities are finding ways to lower police budgets, not increase them which is so often Rockland's preferred method.



If you wish to comment, please login.
Note: If you signed up using our new subscriber portal, your username is the email address you registered with and your password is in all caps