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Seattle Mayor wants to offer $15,000 bonus to attract new police officers

Offer would match deals with neighboring departments

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan wants to offer big hiring bonuses to veteran police officers.

This week, she sent legislation to the city council to provide experienced officers a signing bonus of up to $15,000.

It comes after her office received new data that showed the city has lost dozens of officers since 2015, and lateral applications to the department were down 67 percent in the same time period.

The Seattle Police Department has faced challenges from neighboring departments who have also been offering financial incentives while dealing with the high cost of living in Seattle.

“We have a responsibility to ensure we can hire and retain the best police officers in the country while continuing the important work of reform,” Durkan said in a statement.

SPD had also been challenged because of the lack of a union contract. The guild had been operating without one since 2014, until a new agreement was made in November.

The 2019 salary schedule for veteran officers, with at least two years of experience can earn $91,038 a year, and nearly $100,000 a year for more than five years.

Durkan's legislation needs council approval. The bonuses would come out of existing department funding.

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