The Columbus Police Department is hoping new pay incentives will keep its 78 officers from leaving the force in search of higher salaries and benefits at other agencies. Chief of Police Jason Maddix says officers who perform extra, specialized services, such as K-9 unit personnel or hostage negotiators, will now receive yearly stipends.
He says in the past a number of factors have made it easy for other agencies to lure away CPD officers.
“We’ve had several leave to other agencies, other municipal agencies, and we believe some of the issue is the pay,” he says. “Not just the starting pay, but also the pay that comes along with advancement in rank and advancement in specialization. We were lacking in some of those areas.”
Two of the officers that CPD lost in 2012, for example, joined the Fishers Police Department in Hamilton County. The Fishers police force attracts talent from across central Indiana—and even cities as far away as Los Angeles—because of financing and career advancement, says FPD Information Officer Tom Weger.
“We have a few things that some agencies just don’t have,” he says. “And one of those things is we have very good funding. And so it allows our officers to receive the highest amount of training and also receive the best equipment.”
But competition from federal agencies remains a problem. Both the Columbus and Fishers departments have lost officers to the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Secret Service within the past year.