RUMFORD POLICE RAISES INCENTIVES TO ATTRACT NEW CAREER OFFICERS TO THEIR FORCE
06/24/2020 by Chief Tony L. Milligan
Rumford Police, like many other law enforcement agencies in Maine, have felt the pressure of having vacancies within their department. With police officers retiring, transferring to other agencies or just leaving the profession altogether to take on new challenges in their life, finding qualified replacement officers is a challenge.
Last fall, former Police Chief Stacy Carter recommended and was approved by the Board of Selectmen to offer up to $5,000 as a signing bonus to qualified full-time police officers willing to make their career with Rumford PD. Hoping to attract already-trained and certified officers to make the switch was met with disappointment as no qualified officers applied.
Since taking over as the new Chief of Police in Rumford, Chief Tony Milligan realized that having three patrol vacancies was not only negatively affecting his overtime budget, but also pushing his dedicated force to their limits because of forced overtime to fill vacant shifts in order to provide effective public safety to the community.
Chief Milligan learned that he wasn't alone with this dilemma and that other departments had been offering incentives as well, many with much higher cash bonuses hoping to attract officers. "While I'm not necessarily a fan of competing with other law enforcement agencies in Maine, we're in a dire situation and we have to do something before our officers get burned out."
On Thursday, June 18th, the Rumford Board of Selectmen agreed with Chief Milligan's concerns and authorized the following incentives to attract new officers to the Rumford Police Department:
APPLICANTS HIRED FOR FULL-TIME POLICE OFFICER POSITION:
For officers already trained and certified to "full-time standards" by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA) or officers who were trained and certified by another state and whose training standards are "substantially similar" and the officer is granted a waiver by the MCJA (all known as a "BLUE PIN"):
$4,000 for new full-time hires with 0-2 years experience
$5,000 for new full-time hires with 3 years of experience;
$8,000 for new full-time hires with 4 years of experience;
$10,000 for new full-time hires with 5 or more years of experience
For officers already trained and certified to "part-time standards" by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (known as a "GREEN PIN"):
$2,000 for new full-time hires
APPLICANTS HIRED FOR PART-TIME POLICE OFFICER POSITION:
For officers already trained and certified to "full-time standards" by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (known as a "BLUE PIN"):
$500 for new part-time hires
"We needed to step up and get creative to be competitive and I think we've done that by offering incentives for full-time officers and part-time officers, something most agencies are not doing to my knowledge."
Rumford Police is advertising world-wide on an internet-based job posting site (Indeed.com) for full-time and part-time police officers. "Right now we're focusing on already trained/certified officers to fill our vacancies, but if that doesn't work out we'll consider looking at applicants with no prior training or experience."
Finding highly qualified, ethical professionals is our #1 priority. Rumford PD has instituted a rigorous pre-employment assessment program to ensure that we hire only the best! Once hired, Rumford PD puts all of their new hires through a strict field training program (whether they are fully trained or not) to ensure that the new officers meet our standards and mindset of community policing and public service. "We will not compromise our standards just to fill a vacancy", promised Chief Milligan. "We're offering serious incentives to attract serious professionals."
The cash incentives are paid in installments. For "blue pin" applicants hired for full time service, half is paid upon successful completion of the department's field training program and the other half is paid upon completion of a 1-year probationary period. For "green pin" applicants hired for full-time service, $250 is paid immediately upon hire, $250 is paid upon completion of the department's field training program, $500 is paid upon completion of 10 post-field training program shifts, and $1000 paid upon successful completion and graduation of the MCJA 18-week Basic Law Enforcement Training Program. For "blue pin" applicants hired for part time service, $100 is paid upon successful completion of the department's field training program, and $400 is paid upon completion of 6 post-field training program shifts.
Application packets are available online at www.rumfordpd.com