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Retention Bonuses for RI Police Officers

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Hoping not to lose any more officers, the Rock Island Police Department might pay retention bonuses. Monday night, the city council will consider a proposal to pay 1,000 dollars this year to each of the 70 sworn officers.

Police Chief Richard Landi says it's a good way to thank officers for all their extra work during the pandemic, but also to persuade them to stay.

"Law enforcement around the state including from the state police, the county, and other municipalities are actively recruiting what we call lateral entry programs. They're trying to entice personnel that are working for other agencies, are alteady trained, and in good standing, saying hey come work for us. Here's what we're willing to offer."

The money would come from the city's ARPA funds, the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

"Everbody's facing the same challenges, as far as the low amount of applicants, difficulty getting applicants to meet the standards to be police officers - there's physical, there's background, there's other standards in place that they've got to be able to do and that's been more and more of a challenge recently for all of us."

In addition to the bonus this year, Chief Landi would also like the city to pay 1,000 dollars each next year and 1,500 in the third year.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.