Tuscaloosa City Council OKs police, city worker bonus

By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Karnera Gafford 

The Tuscaloosa City Council on Tuesday approved a motion that gives Tuscaloosa Police officers a $5,000 retention bonus for new officers and a $2,500 referral bonus for current officers who refer others to join TPD. The referral bonus will be distributed as follows:

  • $2,000 paid after the completion of the probationary period of employment
  • $1,500 paid after completion of the second year of employment 
  • $1,500 paid after completion of the third year of employment

Current employees who refer a new Tuscaloosa Police Patrol Officer are eligible for a $2,500 recruitment bonus after the referred officer successfully completes their probationary period of employment.

Tuscaloosa city employees can also get up to $2,500 for referring potential new officers.  

City leaders said they these incentives will encourage officers to stay on the force longer. 

“I believe incentives work,” said District 2 Tuscaloosa City Council Member Raevan Howard. “I believe they encourage a good attitude in the workplace. I believe this is definitely a good thing. I hope we see the results we are looking for.”

And more perks for TPD employees are in the works.

Next week, the council is voting on allowing all patrol officers to take home their vehicles.

“This investment will help us hire the best candidates so we can maintain the high level of service our citizens deserve,” said Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley. “We’re competing with other departments to hire the very best from a pool of candidates that keeps shrinking. Take-home cars have become routinely offered at other departments, and we’ve seen more sign-on bonuses offered in the last year. This is what we need to do to stay competitive, and we’re grateful to the council for taking this step.”

If you’re interested in joining TPD, you can learn more at a career fair happening March 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Tuscaloosa River Market.

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