New BPD labor contract to boost officer retention and recruitment
The BART Board of Directors at its meeting on Thursday by an 8-0 vote approved a new four-year contract with BART’s police officers. With police officer salaries rapidly rising nationwide, BART agreed to a labor package that brings its officers closer to average salaries in the Bay Area. The agreement includes a one-time 6% salary increase as well as annual raises ranging from 2.5-2.75% over the life of the four-year contract.
“This is an important contract not only for our current officers but for recruitment efforts,” said BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas. “Bay Area law enforcement agencies often are competing to hire the best candidates out of a shrinking pool of qualified applicants. This agreement will make us a more attractive destination for potential hires.”
An important provision of the agreement allows BPD to hire outside contractors to assist with background checks for officer candidates. This bolsters BPD’s on-going efforts to reduce the length of time it takes to complete a full background check for prospective officers while maintaining the department’s stringent hiring standards.
Hiring bonus extended for another year
Chief Rojas also announced an incentive program that offers new officers a $10,000 hiring bonus will be extended into 2019.
“The hiring bonus has been a useful tool for our recruiting campaign,” said Rojas. “We are focused on extensive public outreach. BPD has attended more than 40 recruitment events across Northern California this year and we plan to keep up those efforts in 2019.”
Chief Rojas has made officer recruitment a top priority since his arrival at BPD in May of last year. Through the end of October, BPD hired 24 new officers including nine that are enrolled in police academies. That’s higher than the 16 that were hired through all of 2017.
BPD has also hired seven Community Service Officers so far this year. Those are non-sworn BPD employees who perform a variety of functions including parking and proof-of-payment enforcement.