BEAUMONT, Texas — The Beaumont Police Officer's Association and the City of Beaumont are both hoping that a newly signed contract will help attract and retain talented officers in the city.
The new four-year contract took effect on Monday according to a news release from the City of Beaumont.
The contract was negotiated and designed with the goal of attracting and retaining better officers to the city as well as keeping the ones we have according to the release.
A sign-on bonus of up to $10,000 was added to help attract officers with prior experience.
New officers who sign on for at least three years will be eligible for $2,000 per year of prior experience, up to five years, at the time they are first hired according to City of Beaumont communications director Lauren Monitz.
It can cost the city about $85,000 for equipment, benefits and training, including the police academy, to hire someone who hasn't previously become a certified peace officer according to Monitz.
It previously took a Beaumont officer 20 years to reach the top of the department's pay scale but under the new contract it will take half that with officers hitting the top at 10 years according to the release.
“We are pleased to be able to offer better benefits, pay, equipment, and training as our officers nurture positive relations with the citizens of Beaumont," Beaumont city manager Kenneth Williams was quoted as saying in the release.
Another new feature mentioned in the release that may help attract new officers is "lateral entry hiring" which will allow new officers to transfer their years of service from other departments.
“I spent months analyzing what it would take to attract top talent to Beaumont and get our exceptional officers to stay in Beaumont," BPOA president Robert Campbell was quoted as saying in the news release.
The new contract also increases the stipend for body armor and adds two additional holidays.
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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.