BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The city of Baton Rouge is looking for more police officers and Police Chief Murphy Paul said officials will try something new — an extensive marketing campaign — to get them on board .
“You’re going to see us on social media platforms, you’re going to see us on billboards, you’re going to see ads. For the first time, a very aggressive recruitment drive,” Paul said.
At Wednesday’s subway board meeting, Paul announced that $50,000 would go to marketing for recruiting officers, WAFB-TV reported.
“Our number one strategy this year and last year is to fill vacancies within the department. We need boots on the ground to make these strategies work,” he said.
After a record year for murders, officials said more police on the streets was a priority.
sergeant. Darren Ahmed, director of recruiting for the department, said he believes the best recruiting tool is the department’s officers themselves.
“When our officers come out, everyone from newer to senior officers, our deputy chiefs, our chiefs, our uniformed patrol commanders, all of those things play to a benefit and it lets the community see, ‘Eh well, I want to do this job too,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed said as of Jan. 1, the department had 588 officers on its payroll. However, he said, the department is allocating 698 and “our goal is to hit those numbers to deal with attrition and quits.”
Baton Rouge Police Union President Brandon O’Neal said what will make the biggest difference to recruiting new recruits is increased salaries. Starting in 2021, new recruits will receive a salary of up to $43,116 after their first year with the department. Recruits with college degrees will receive up to $45,616 per year, depending on the type of degree they hold.
Already more than 20 people have signed up for the June police academy, but Ahmed said he would like to see more.
“I would love to shoot for a 50-man academy and I think it will be historic, so if the good Lord says the same and with the right support from the administration – and we got it – we will go all the way. at the end,” he said.