Media Release: Baltimore Police Department announces new recruitment and retention incentives

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Media Release: Baltimore Police Department announces new recruitment and retention incentives

Baltimore, Md. (Aug. 18, 2022) – The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) is pleased to announce several recruitment and retention incentives and hiring initiatives designed to attract qualified applicants and retain exemplary members in the Department for longer periods of time.

Working with City Leaders and the FOP, the BPD was able to keep officers top of mind in order to strengthen the Department and work toward a safer Baltimore.

These new pay incentives, effective immediately, will assist with both recruitment and retention:

  • Signing Bonus: To attract new hires, we will be offering a $5,000 signing bonus to all those joining the Department.
  • Housing Allowance/Relocation Expenses: BPD will be offering $1,000 per month in housing assistance for new hires for the first year of full-time employment if they live within the Baltimore City limits. That’s a total of $12,000 on top of current pay.
  • Student Loan Assistance: Building on work already started with the new contract, an additional $5,000 per year will be offered to employees to help pay down student loans.
  • Enhanced Referral Bonus: BPD is increasing the existing referral bonus program to $5,000 per employee per referral with no cap.

“This is about making a smart investment that should significantly enhance our efforts in attracting new recruits, while also incentivizing retention for our experienced officers. We want to reward our officers for their hard work in attracting new employees to join the Department,” said Commissioner Michael Harrison. “I am committed to improving working conditions, living conditions and the quality of life for all of our personnel and the residents of Baltimore. Together, we will show that the BPD is the Greatest Law Enforcement Agency in America.”

In October 2021, the department, City and FOP approved a new labor contract designed to reduce officer attrition by creating higher pay incentives for officers to remain with the Department.

The new contract, which went into effect on July 1, included:

  • Members at all years of service in the Department received varying percentage increases up to as much as 11% in order to improve the pay schedule for members throughout their careers.
  • Starting pay will be no less than $60,000 annually for new recruits -- a 10% increase over the current rate of pay.
  • This establishes the Baltimore Police Department as the highest paid major law enforcement agency in the state, which makes the Department more regionally competitive.
  • All sworn members with more than 11 years of service received at least a 2% raise to enhance retention of veteran officers. Those with more than 20 years of service received between 3.5% and 5% raises.
  • Beginning in July 2023, all members of the Department will receive a 2% across-the-board raise. Those members with greater than 19 years of service will receive an additional 1% increase (for a total of a 3% annual increase). All sworn members who have an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree will earn an additional $1,500; $3,000; and $4,500 respectively, each year.

All of these efforts allow the Department to be smart and strategic about hiring the best and brightest, while also increase pay for members in their first few years of service where the Department is seeing the highest rates of attrition from members who are not yet retirement eligible.

BPD is committed to bringing on more diverse and representative Academy classes that include:

  • More minorities
  • More women
  • More Baltimore City residents

"Where police departments across the country are losing officers, we are actively working to attract new recruits and improve retainment as part of our wider public safety strategy," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "Being nationally competitive and attracting the best and brightest to serve in the Baltimore Police Department will help us expand our capacity to serve and protect our residents and ensure safer communities throughout Baltimore."

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