With Taylor’s number of sworn police officers dwindling and applications for vacancies in the single digits, an agreement has been reached to do something to help reverse what turns out to be a dire situation.
A “Letter of Understanding” was signed recently between the City of Taylor and the Police Officers Labor Association, and unanimously approved by the city council, which officials hope will eventually increase its number of officers.
The letter enhances many salary and benefit options available to new hires and those seeking lateral transfers.
“This proposal (will) retain and recruit into the police service,” Chief John Blair said at the council meeting. “We badly need police. Our most recent hiring list had four people in total. We hope that with this new agreement, our pool of candidates will increase and allow people currently here to stay. We hope this is a big step forward in improving service and creating a safe environment for all of our citizens in the City of Taylor.
The improvements will use funding from the US Federal Bailout Act.
Taylor received approximately $11.5 million of those earmarked funds.
This program will allocate approximately $1.3 million of these locally targeted funds over a three-year period for police recruitment and retention.
Ministry officials acknowledge that this challenge is not unique to Taylor or even the Downriver region.
“We have a national crisis with law enforcement,” Chief of Staff Dan Bzura said at the council meeting. “Other communities are doing similar things to attract and retain officers.”
Here are the ways the agreement improves police salaries and benefits:
● Starting salary increases to $51,000 per year by August 1 and provides a five-year extension for prior law enforcement experience up to $70,013 per year.
● Corporal top salary increases to $76,000 by 2024
● Police pensions take a multiplier of 2.25%
● Paid leave, holidays, sick leave, sick leave bonuses and compensation time offered
● Medical, prescription, life, dental and vision insurance offered
● Residence and education bonuses included
● 12-hour shifts with every other weekend off
● Paid Team Differential
● Selective traffic enforcement details
● Compensation Bonus for Field Training Officer and K9 Officer
● Investigations Office
● Accident Investigator
● Drone pilot unit
● Firearms/Taser Instructor
● Downstream SWAT
● Crisis negotiation team
● Special operations
● Drug Enforcement Administration and Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force Officer
Applicants must be at least 21 years old, have a minimum of 60 college credits (unless a certified police officer), be a US citizen, have a valid driver’s license, no felony convictions, be certified by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and there is no EMPCO written test required for newly certified police officers.