Charlotte officer calls Raleigh PD recruiting in the Queen City ironic timing
The Raleigh Police Department schedules around 150 recruiting trips each year, which span across the state and the east coast.Posted — Updated
In recent weeks, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officers have been urging City Council to award them a pay raise.
Mark Michalec, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in the Queen City, said he believes RPD’s visit to Charlotte highlights the urgency with which City Council needs to act. Otherwise, he says CMPD officers may be enticed by the Raleigh jobs, which he believes have better pay and benefits.
“Raleigh has every right to go and recruit just like we do. I think it’s just more or less perfect timing. I doubt they decided to do this at the spur of the moment,” Michalec said.
He said the Raleigh Police Department's career fair in Charlotte demonstrates how readily available other opportunities are, and he claims that Raleigh is looking specifically at Charlotte officers.
"Other cities and organizations have, if not the same, a little bit more to offer than Charlotte does. To come down and do their recruiting, that's what departments do. Our department travels all over the place too. It's just a sign of the times. I think the law enforcement profession is hurting all over," he said.
Edwin Garcia, a recruiter at Raleigh's Police Department, said the department schedules around 150 recruiting trips each year, which span across the state and the east coast, including Charlotte.
But he disputes claims that Raleigh PD is specifically looking to hire existing officers from CMPD while in Charlotte.
He noted that the department has strong recruiting ties to Johnson C. Smith and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Raleigh police have multiple recruiting stops this week, ending with Charlotte on Friday.
The Raleigh Police Department has 25 vacancies out of 800 positions at the department.
"We are actively recruiting, looking for people who want to join," Garcia said.
Garcia said most of Raleigh's recruits are new officers, fresh from college. But a few members of every class come from other police departments. In the current academy of 53 people, Garcia said three are lateral hires, one from New York, one from New Jersey and one from Charlotte.
Garcia said, in general, the Raleigh Police Department has the reputation as a great place to work.
“I think Raleigh, by far, is a place that will take care of you,” Garcia said. “The connections that we have with the community are second to none. Everyone wants to be in Raleigh. That’s the honest truth.”
Durham police's recruiting schedule also shows dozens of stops across the state, along with stops in South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New York.
The Durham Police Department has 25 vacancies out of 548 positions.
In Durham, new officers get a salary of $37,000. If they sign a four-year commitment, they will receive a $5,000 bonus and $3,000 more if they move within city limits.
In Raleigh, the starting salaries for academy graduates are $42,300 with a maximum officer salary of $77,000.
"(Recruiting) is a challenge, but it's also something I believe we are very good at," Garcia said.
Michalec said he believes some CMPD officers will be interested in Raleigh’s recruitment efforts.
“I’m sure some will go to the session. Especially a lot of the younger officers, if not just for curiosity’s sake to see what there is to offer there,” he said.
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