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Public Safety

Council To Consider Police Recruitment, Retention Program

Police cars in the parking lot at Market Creek Plaza in Southeast San Diego.
Katie Schoolov
Police cars in the parking lot at Market Creek Plaza in Southeast San Diego.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council is scheduled today to take up a proposed $2 million program to recruit and retain officers in the San Diego Police Department.

Large disparities in take-home pay between the SDPD and competing departments are causing San Diego to lose around eight to 10 officers a month, and recent recruiting efforts are barely making a dent in the problem, according to the San Diego Police Officers Association.

A tentative agreement between the city and SDPOA seeks to close the take- home pay gap by raising a $900 annual uniform and equipment allowance by around $1,000 and ending a 12-month waiting period before police academy graduates can receive the allowance.

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The city would also fund recruiting activities and promotional materials, at a cost of $35,000, according to the plan.

At a meeting in June, some council members said the city is paying $100,000 to train the officers, only to lose them to other law enforcement agencies. Also, nearly half of the SDPD officers will be eligible to retire in four years, according to the police union.

San Diego, a city of around 1.3 million people, has about 300 fewer uniformed officers than a decade ago, according to Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who urged his colleagues to pass the agreement. The current force includes about 1,800 officers, according to published reports.

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