Local News

City hopes monetary incentive is ticket to more Durham officers

Posted November 21, 2016

— Officials say acts of violence against law enforcement officers is one of the reasons there has been a nationwide drop in applications.

The growing City of Durham is now trying something new to fight the trend after seeing a 30 percent decrease in the number of applications from last year - monetary incentives.

This year, the city council approved funding for an additional 20 officers, but the total number of openings stands at 55.

"We are in a market where competition for police applications is fierce," said Capt. Brian Reitz.

The Durham Police Department is now offering a $5,000 hiring bonus to qualified applicants. In exchange, the officer must agree to a four year commitment. Durham is also offering a $2,000 to $3,000 relocation incentive.

"We want officers who are committed and community focused," Reitz said.

The trust between the community and law enforcement has been strained in recent years, marked by protests and marches across the county.

Reitz said since the initiatives were introduced about a month ago, there has been an increase in interest.

"We need bodies. We need willing individuals to be a part of the solution here in Durham," he said.

Officials say the signing bonuses will cost the city $275,000 and will come from the police department's budget.

The department is offering relocation incentives to both new and current sworn officers in hopes of moving more officers into the community they serve.

3 Comments

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  • Jeffrey Derry Nov 22, 2016
    user avatar

    Bill Bell, the radical left, soft on criminals and sanctuary city folks (who welcome illegals by the droves) have ruined this once great city....why would anyone want to be a police person there when the govt doesn't support you?

  • Jeff Freuler Nov 22, 2016
    user avatar

    The salaries of law enforcement officers have needed an overhaul for years now. You get what you pay for and you don't get what you pay for. You want quality split second decisions then you need better quality of people and better training. One of the reasons basic law enforcement training is so short is because administrators do not want it any longer. For example firearms training for a cadet is only 48 hours with ten of those being in the classroom and they only have to score a 70% to pass.

    Maybe one day it will be important enough to pay them for what they are expected to do and for what they are worth to keep a civilized society

  • John Ragan Nov 21, 2016
    user avatar

    Why would anyone work in the criminal justice system in city of Durham? The problem is not the money, it's the system. These people should be receiving combat zone pay. The city continues to fire police chiefs when the real issue is in city hall. When the people of Durham truly want change fire mayor Bell and all of his yes men...then you'll see change