Last week, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell shared details of his Comprehensive Police Recruitment and Retention Plan. Over the past two-and-a-half years, the department has lost over 400 officers. The Mayor’s plan would implement urgent actions and long-term steps to recruit and retain officers.
The Mayor was joined by Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz as they explained the City’s robust and multifaceted approach. The plan includes increases in recruitment staffing and budget, competitive hiring incentives and relocation reimbursements, and system efficiency and modernization improvements to ease and accelerate the process for both new recruits and lateral transfers.
Several elements of the recruitment and retention plan include expanding the applicant pool by prioritizing recruitment of candidates who reflect Seattle’s values and diverse communities including people with diverse racial and immigration backgrounds, people with college educations and language skills beyond English. Offering hiring incentives of up to $30,000 for lateral transfers and $7,500 for new recruits will help ensuring Seattle is fully competitive with neighboring jurisdictions. Candidates will also be reimbursed for applicant fees, travel expenses, and relocation costs when hired.