Independence hopes incentives will help recruit, retain police officers

Independence Police Department patrol car

FILE: Independence Police Department patrol car, Independence, Mo.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Police departments across the metro are struggling to hire enough officers to fully staff their police forces.

The department said it needs to hire at least 30 officers. Independence said it hopes offering incentives will help the department recruit officers and fill those openings.

The city decided to begin offering hiring bonuses and referral incentives in September.

New recruits, with no prior experience, will receive a $7,000 signing bonus. Officers with experience are eligible for a $10,000 bonus. The department published a full list of payment schedules and other requirements if you are interested in applying.

“We are encouraged by the continued support of the Independence City Council and citizens,” Deputy Chief Ken Jarnagin, said. “Departments across the country are working to recruit officers in new ways and this is just one step we are taking to recruit officers to serve our citizens and visitors.”

People living in Independence will also begin seeing an ad campaign working to raise awareness about employment opportunities with the police department. There will also be recruiting booths in some Independence businesses.

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