Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 3, 2019

Shortage of staff

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

It should come as no surprise that the Alameda Police Department is having trouble hiring.  Not that there is anything wrong specifically with the Alameda police department, I just imagine that going into policing is not at the top of a lot of wish lists for kids these days the way that it used to be.

On tonight’s City Council agenda there will be an item to consider to amend an existing policy to recruit current police officers working in other cities to come to Alameda.   I mean it’s all fancied up in language like “lateral recruitment” but it’s really just an attempt to poach police officers from other cities.   And because other cities are currently doing it, it’s not going to be enough for Alameda to advertise that it’s slightly less crime ridden than its neighbors to be appealing enough.

From the staff report:

[T]he department still has nine sworn officer vacancies due to a persistent loss of sworn staff from retirements and lateral transfers. In response to severe recruitment challenges, the Alameda Police Department would like to increase the incentive award for hiring police officer laterals by offering a hiring bonus worth up to $30,000 paid out over the course of two years. Nearby jurisdictions such as Fremont, San Mateo, and Palo Alto are offering similar incentives. The department would also like to reduce the 24-month probationary period for lateral candidates to 12 months, expand the employee referral incentive program to all City of Alameda (City) employees, and provide a $1,000 cash bonus option. The department expects the cost of each hiring bonus to be absorbed by its current budget. By hiring a lateral police officer, the Department would be relieved of the cost of a police academy sponsorship, which amounts to a savings of $44,000. This savings would be offset by the cost of bonuses for each new lateral hire.

Just an FYI why this is important, according to the staff report 13 officers will be eligible for retirement next summer.  Being down 22 officers seems like a lot if the police department is unable to compete with much more attractive offers from other cities.

There’s also a consideration to reward City staff for successfully referring a candidate to the City to hire which is a pretty good incentive to poach your friend from a neighboring city.


  1. Police recruitment is in free fall across the country, as fewer job candidates want the increased scrutiny and citizen attacks. So are candidates applying to the FBI, for obvious reasons we read in the press every day. Both have lost the sheen of respect. Interesting how both AUSD and APD can’t fill their positions, especially in a place where “everyone” wants to live. Maybe one Union is dominating the town to the detriment of others…

    Comment by Nowyouknow — December 3, 2019 @ 8:18 am

    • 🥨🥨🥨🥨

      Or it’s that the bad behavior of police elsewhere is negatively impacting police recruitment. Police departments could handle their white supremacist and brutality problems, demilitarize and likely see an increase in recruitment success everywhere.

      Comment by Gaylon — December 3, 2019 @ 8:44 am

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