FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The Fayetteville Police Department is considering a big incentive for people willing to join the team.
Sgt. Tony Murphy said finding officers is a struggle for police departments nationwide. So, the Fayetteville PD wants to offer a $10,000 signing bonus (given in increments) to bring on more people.
As of Wednesday, July 14, the department has seven open spots with four more potentially opening up soon.
Sgt. Murphy said when you add this to the number of officers out right now due to things like military deployment or medical leave, the department is down 20% of its staff.
“Violent crime is up, and with everything that is going on socially, I think a lot of people are deciding that this isn’t the work for them,” Sgt. Murphy said.
Sgt. Murphy added that in 2020, the department responded to 18 shootings. Seven of those were murders.
In addition, some cities nationwide have seen major increases in violent crimes, property crimes and calls for service.
The signing bonus initiative was introduced to the city council Tuesday, July 13. It is scheduled to be voted on during the next city council meeting on July 20.