Chandler police increasing hiring incentives to $10K for lateral officers outside the area

In an effort to boost recruitment, Chandler Police Department is offering a $10,000 hiring incentive to certain qualified applicants.
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:37 PM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - More Valley police departments are offering thousands of dollars in hiring incentives, competing to recruit more officers to answer your calls for help. You may remember last year, the Chandler Police Department began offering $5,000 to officers who came from other departments outside of the area. Now it’s adding an extra $5,000 in relocation costs to stay competitive.

There are 360 sworn officers within the Chandler Police Department, including 29 open positions, with 25% of the force now eligible for retirement. That’s according to Sgt. Jason McClimans. “They expect a professional. Well-trained, ethical police department,” McClimans told Arizona’s Family on Monday. “And that’s what we want to give our citizens.”

When it comes to hiring, McClimans says the issue it’s running into is finding qualified candidates who can pass background tests, polygraph tests and more. “I remember when I got hired here, and that was back in 1994,” said Michael Collins, the president of the Chandler Law Enforcement Association. “I think I was one of 400 or 500 people that tested for three or four open spots at the time. And over the last ten years, we’ve seen that take the opposite track.”

While interest in law enforcement careers ebbs and flows, Collins says it appreciates anything the city can do to be more aggressive. Since Chandler Police began the initial incentive program in 2021, it says it’s been successful, filling 44 positions since last July.

But other departments have also taken note. A few months later, Phoenix Police began offering $7,500 in hiring bonuses as departments across the Valley compete for a small pool of applicants. “We want those qualified applicants. We want people who are community-driven and who want to come work for Chandler,” McClimans.