Renton City Council approves large bonus increase for lateral officer hires

RENTON, Wash. — The Renton City Council has recently approved a significant increase in the Renton Police Department’s hiring bonus for lateral officers, presenting a unique and exclusive opportunity for law enforcement professionals in the region.

Previously, lateral officers were offered hiring bonuses of $20,000, split into two payments: the first upfront and the rest after the officer completed their first year on the job. Now, the Renton Police Department is offering a significantly increased bonus of $40,000, also split into two payments. This substantial increase positions the department’s offer as one of the most competitive in the region, demonstrating our commitment to attracting and valuing seasoned officers.

Seattle and Federal Way come in second, offering $30,000 hiring bonuses to lateral officers.

“The Renton Police Department, currently with 133 officers and five vacancies, actively seeks to fill these positions. While most of our recent hires are from the police academy or fresh recruits, we recognize the value of seasoned officers in rounding out our department. We believe that the increased bonus and other perks will attract and acknowledge the importance of their potential contribution.”

“It’s significant enough to change someone’s life, right? It’s also important to note that a lateral upon hire would get 250 hours of personal leave and 250 hours of sick leave,” said Renton Police Department’s Communications Manager, Meeghan Black.

The department currently has 133 officers and five vacant positions. Five vacancies may not sound like a lot, especially with other agencies in Western Washington struggling to fill hundreds. Still, Black says that doesn’t consider the number of officers at the academy, waiting to go to the academy, or still on FTO. It also doesn’t consider those on maternity/paternity leave or those who are injured,” said Black.

When asked where the money to fund these hiring bonuses comes from, Black says its money saved from the salaries of vacant positions.

Just last month, we looked into salaries for entry-level salaries across 19 different agencies; we also looked into hiring bonuses at those same agencies, and here’s what we learned.

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