At its September 12 meeting, the Antioch City Council agreed to extend a police bonus program that provides an employee referral and recruitment signing bonus and incentive program for Antioch Police Department.
The city will now continue with its $300k program during fiscal year 2023-24 to help increase the number of police officers in Antioch—including a $40k per lateral officer hire and a $30k per entry level hire.
The payments are not paid in one lump sum, but rather over a period of five-years. The program was first approved in September 2022, however, it took the council nearly 6-months to approve the bonus program.
The item was approved in the Consent Calendar, which was pulled by councilmember Mike Barbanica.
Barbanica pulled the item because he wanted to know about the success of the program and if it has helped attract officers to the Antioch Police Department, how it would be funded in the future because the city was funding this program through salary savings and questioned if the funds would be available in the future.
Acting Police Chief Joe Vigil explained to the council this program was before the council in September of 2022 and the first payment from the program will occur next month. A second person will also receive a payment next month but no one else will be paid until 2024.
“It will then be our six academy graduates and that will be it for this fiscal year,” states Vigil who noted what they were tracking right now only four others will receive payment.
Barbanica asked the chief how successful the program has been or if it had made an impact.
“We have seen it in recruiting because our recruitment numbers are up and our applications are up,” said Vigil. “Of course, its one thing to apply and come out to the test and another thing to make it through the process.”
Barbanica asked again if Vigil thought it was a successful program.
“I would say yes, I think so. Our applications numbers are up,” stated Vigil. “You lose people at every stage, it’s too hard to tell. We have only had one big group and don’t have another academy until after the first of the year.”
He added in terms of hiring lateral officers, he said “no” because they have only had one lateral hire.
Barbanica confirmed that this program has not worked for lateral hires, but for entry level officers it has been successful which Vigil confirmed.
Mayor Lamar Thorpe said the goal was to increase the “applicant pool” overall which has happened.
Vigil shared this month has been their biggest month for applicants since the inception of the program and that they have to track the numbers the rest of the year and if the numbers stay steady he would call it a beneficial program.
“My personal view is its worth it to go another year with this thing. We need to hire police officers and if it means we have to spend up to $300k to hire police officers then that is what we need to do,” stated Barbanica.
Thorpe confirmed this funding comes out of salary savings.
The item was approved in a 4-0-1 vote with Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker abstaining.
Editors Note – the Antioch City Council requested the police department come back with a report on Antioch Police staffing levels and its CSO program, along with several other updates on programs the city pushed forward over the past year.
- June 22, 2023 – BART Police to Get Pay Raise
- April 5, 2023 – Alameda Approves $75k Hiring Incentive for New Police Officers
- Oct 29, 2022 – Oakley Approves $10k Hiring Incentive for Police Officers and Marketing Budget