Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Alameda police department offers region’s largest signing bonus

The City of Alameda Police Department is offering arguably the nation’s largest signing bonus in an effort to attract new officers.

But the $75,000 bonus, which dwarfs the amount offered by other Bay Area cities, is about more than just putting money in an officer’s pockets, Alameda’s new police chief says. It’s also their best shot at introducing the kind of progressive, reformist policing he hopes to achieve.

“Community policing is about building relationships,” Alameda Police Chief Nishant Joshi said in an interview. “That’s hard when you’re covering three or four neighborhoods because of a staff shortage.”

The $75,000 cash bonus is intended to help fill a number of long-term positions within the police force. According to Joshi, the department currently has a 30% staff shortage, a level he called “dangerous.”

Agents are now required to work overtime due to the shortage. The city currently has only one police officer assigned to traffic enforcement.

The signing bonus, city officials hope, will change things. Bonuses in neighboring cities range from $5,000 in San Francisco to $30,000 in San Mateo, and a $75,000 bonus in Alameda could attract the best talent from within and outside the region.

“In a perfect world, you get all the candidates and then you can select the best,” said Alameda police chief Nishant Joshi. “I don’t want to compete with anyone. I want to be at the top.”



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