SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA (Nov. 15, 2023) – There are not many law enforcement agencies that can boast about having no difficulty recruiting officers in these times – and the local law enforcement agencies are no different. Some creative ways are being used to recruit staff from hiring events, locally and even out of the continental United States in some instances, hiring incentives and sign on bonuses.
Social Circle Police Department is no different. It too is having some difficulty filling its ranks with the required number of police officers it would like to ensure the safety of its residents. So Social Circle Police Chief Jason Guest has come up with a way to make Social Circle Police Department an attractive place to work.
One of the ways is a $3,000 Sign-on Bonus. It is hoped that the initial financial incentive will help. But that is not the only benefit. Other opportunities available to newly recruited officers are advanced training certificate and education incentives, “each equated to roughly a 2% raise or allow for an additional 2% increase during the employment process,” Guest said.
Some of the training benefits offered include:
- Education: Associate, Bachelor, Masters, PhD
- Advanced Certifications (As awarded / defined by Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training – GA POST)
- Basic, intermediate, advanced, supervisory, management, executive
- Crime Scene Technician
- Criminal Investigator
- Field Training Officer
- Narcotics Investigator
- School Resource Officer
But Guest said it was equally important to make sure that police officers already on the Social Circle Police Force didn’t get left out of the process.
“Before we were able to offer the sign on bonus, City Manager Eric Taylor wanted to ensure that the current SCPD employees were rewarded similarly with a ‘spot’ award,” Guest said. “This way we wouldn’t have brand new employees receiving something above and beyond our veteran employees who have been with us doing the hard work day in and day out.”
Guest said the money came from salaries that were in the budget for the officers that the city needed, but had not yet managed to recruit so it did not have a negative effect on the city’s budget.
“This allowed us to recognize and reward our current staff while giving us the ability to be more competitive with our neighboring agencies in our hiring process,” Guest said. “On average, our employees saw a 4% raise in pay.”
Guest had high praise for the department he had walked into just four months when he first took office as Social Circle Police Chief on June 1, 2023.
“We were short-staffed but they picked it up and made sure that every shift was covered. We never went without the number of officers we needed on a shift,” he said, going on to give credit to the leadership that came before him in order and city leadership to implement the program. “It would have been impossible to see this program come to fruition without the hard work of the chiefs who came before me, the city manager and the unwavering support of our mayor and each of the city council members.”
SCPD still has some positions available in the department. If you have the qualifications and like the incentives offered, you can find out more of what is available and what is required at this link.