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Offering More To Keep More Police Officers In Sonora

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Sonora, CA – With staffing at critical levels, the Sonora Police Department (SPD) is updating the public on its efforts to bolster its police force through new incentives being offered.

SPD reports that the city is taking aggressive steps to enhance its competitive edge in the retention and recruitment efforts of staff. They noted, “The recent increases in salaries approved in 2021 were implemented with the expectation of bolstering retention and recruitment efforts. However, the persistent low staffing levels have brought the sustainability of our law enforcement services into question, highlighting the urgent need for proactive and comprehensive measures to address this critical issue.”

To demonstrate its commitment to addressing these challenges, the City of Sonora has announced the following initiatives:

  1. Officer Compensation: The City is offering to lead the region in officer compensation with a substantial 10% salary increase, aimed at recognizing the dedication and contributions of our law enforcement personnel and aligning compensation with industry standards to enhance retention. Council has a stated goal of staying 5% above the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department.
  2. Recruitment Bonuses for Lateral Recruits: The City is introducing the highest recruitment bonuses for lateral officers in the region, with a generous amount of $50,000 to attract experienced and qualified officers, thereby strengthening the expertise and capabilities of our law enforcement agency.
  3. Officer Wellness Program: A dedicated allocation of $50,000 is being made to establish an officer wellness program, emphasizing the physical well-being and mental health of our officers and providing access to comprehensive support and resources.

Retention bonuses are also being offered, with current officers receiving a retention bonus of $15,000 and dispatchers receiving a bonus of $7,500.

Sonora Police officials added, “These initiatives stand as a testament to our unwavering support for our law enforcement personnel and our commitment to building a resilient and effective police force that can address the security and safety concerns of our community.”

Sonora Mayor Mark Plummer emphasized the importance of this decision in the following statement:

“I want to express my unwavering support for our Police Department and to announce significant measures aimed at enhancing the welfare and effectiveness of our law enforcement officers.

Our Police Department plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and security of our City, working tirelessly to protect and serve our citizens. Our Police Department has been working incredibly short-staffed for several years because recruitment and retention efforts in today’s climate are challenging at best. I am deeply concerned about the high attrition rate among our Police Officers, as qualified personnel frequently leave our Police Department for better opportunities and wages. We must recognize the strain this puts on our dedicated officers, who loyally remain here and are selflessly committed to safeguarding our community.

I am pleased to announce that we have taken concrete steps to improve the salaries, compensation, and benefits of police personnel. It is our firm belief that the men and women who commit themselves to serving this community deserve to be fairly compensated for their invaluable contributions. In line with the community expectations of Measure Y and our commitment to retention and recruitment, we have approved raises and improvements in the salary structure for our Police Department. This is a significant step towards ensuring that our City remains an attractive and rewarding place for talented individuals to pursue careers in policing. These measures will invigorate our Police Department and inspire a renewed sense of dedication and pride among law enforcement personnel. Please join me in recognizing the importance of upholding the values of justice, integrity, and security in our beloved City.”

The City of Sonora is currently recruiting for a police sergeant, police officer, and police dispatcher/records specialist. Click here for recruitment information.