Trumbull police offer $20,000 hiring incentive to bolster ranks

As heavy snow falls, a Trumbull police officer investigates a minor accident at the entrance to the Merritt Parkway at Park Ave in Trumbull, Conn., on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. The snow which started falling in the later afternoon, caused many cars to be stuck along Park Ave and other roads around the area.

As heavy snow falls, a Trumbull police officer investigates a minor accident at the entrance to the Merritt Parkway at Park Ave in Trumbull, Conn., on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. The snow which started falling in the later afternoon, caused many cars to be stuck along Park Ave and other roads around the area.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — Hoping to boost its recruitment efforts, the town is offering an incentive of up to $20,000 for certain certified police officer candidates who complete the application process and are hired.

The incentive is only available to officers certified by the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council and who have at least two years of experience with another police agency in the state.

“The purpose of the incentive plan is to help with recruiting police officers to fill the vacancies that we currently have and to help with anticipated resignations in the very near future,” said Trumbull Police Chief Michael Lombardo. “It takes almost a full year to train an entry level police officer. If we are able to attract current certified police officers we can reduce the time it takes to fill our vacancies in patrol.”

The Trumbull police department is budgeted for 82 officers and has 75. However, that number includes four officers sworn in in January, who are still training and likely won’t be able to patrol the streets until December.

The incentive will also help with retention.

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro echoed Lombardo’s hope that the incentives will help bridge current staffing gaps.

“We are hoping this incentive program will help us in hiring certified officers, which will help to fill some of our vacancies and that the need to train them for close to a year is reduced to about five weeks,” she said.

Certified police officer candidates who qualify will earn the bonus over the course of their first four years, as they complete each year of service with the town. They also will qualify to begin working at a pay grade above the entry level step, dependent upon their previous years of police experience, according to the town.

Those officers are eligible to gain one pay grade step for every two years of experience, up to the maximum salary of $87,070.

The town will pay qualifying officers the $20,000 incentive bonus in the following installments:

 $2,000 will be paid following successful completion of a probationary training period

 $3,000 will be paid on the officer's one-year anniversary

 $5,000 will be paid on the officer's two-year anniversary

 $5,000 will be paid on the officer's three-year anniversary

 $5,000 will be paid on the officer's four-year anniversary.

For information, visit PoliceApp.com or contact policerecruitment@trumbull-ct.gov.