HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Officer John Mies heads out to patrol the streets of Hutchinson.
Right now, the Hutchison Police Department is in need of 12 more officers. The shortage puts a strain on staff and safety.
“The lower our numbers go down, the less officers there are on the streets which then requires guys
to come back on overtime basis,” said Lt. Brice Burlie with Hutchinson Police Department. “If somebody’s sick, somebody has to come in and fill that position.”
Tuesday, the department began the application period to fill the jobs but this time with a $2,500 bonus incentive.
“I’ve been on the police department for 20 years, and I’ve never heard of it before,” said Lt. Burlie. “So, we were just thinking outside of the box. Anything that we could do to help entice those more qualified candidates to come in and work with us.”
He says Hutchinson Police Chief Jeff Hooper was able to negotiate the hiring bonus with the city manager. If an applicant gets hired, the bonus will be distributed in stages and not in a lump sum.
Lt. Burlie says non-certified officers would get $1,500 upon being hired, $500 after successfully graduating from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, and then receive the remaining $500 after completing the field training program.
Lt. Burlie says certified officers would get $1,500 up front upon hiring and would receive the remaining $1,000 after completing field training program.
Lt. Burlie says timing is one of the major factors that contributes to his departments struggle to stay fully staffed.
“Having to get somebody trained in those nine months, during those nine months you’d have a
retirement or somebody would quit and leave that job, and so now, you got to get another one to fill that position,” said Lt. Burlie.
But with this $2,500 bonus, he hopes qualified candidates will notice and apply.
“Somebody that wants to come and do good things for society and the citizens here in Hutchinson,” said Lt. Burlie.
For more information about the position and how to apply click here.