CLEVELAND (WJW) — City leaders said, in an effort to get more police recruits, they will be offering higher pay and a hefty sign-on bonus.
Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb made the announcement Wednesday following the city’s first safety summit. Fraternal Order of Police President Capt. Jim O’Malley and police union President Detective Jeff Follmer took part in the meeting. The leaders discussed ways to get more cadets and ways to help keep the officers that are already on the force.
“We want to make sure our city is as safe as possible,” Bibb said.
He said the city will now increase the salary for cadets from $16 per hour to $24 per hour. There will also be other benefits being offered, including an up to $5,000 sign-on bonus.
The agreement also jumpstarts officers who hold at least a Bachelor’s degree and who have served at least 180 consecutive days of active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces before being honorably discharged. They’ll be sworn in to the department at an elevated rank, which equates to an about $3,700 pay bump in their first year.
Trainees can also get peace officer training certification costs reimbursed.
The news of the increase in cadet pay comes a day after the FOX 8 I-Team found that out of a tiny class of police recruits, nearly one-third quit. Records show, in one week, four new Cleveland police recruits resigned.
An internal document shows four members of Academy Class 154 were hired last week. Within days, they had resigned.
This leaves the city with fewer than 20 new recruits in training, at a time when violence is increasing. The mayor, however, stressed that he and city leaders are determined to find solutions.
“Everyone around this table shares the same concerns about safety,” the mayor said. “We will do everything as a city, as an administration, as union leaders, to keep our city safe and secure.”