Breaking News
More () »

Arkansas hoping incentives help with law enforcement shortage

Law enforcement agencies across the country have seen staffing shortages including in Central Arkansas— and now some are offering incentives to recruit more officers

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Law enforcement agencies across the country have been facing staffing shortages and it's something that the departments here in Central Arkansas have been dealing with too.  

"We've got to do something to change our way of thinking and to let people let officers know, hey, this is still the great career than it was 30 years ago," North Little Rock Captain, Brian Dedrick, said.

The North Little Rock Police Department is currently short 17 officers, but Captain Brian Dedrick explained that he's hopeful a new contract signed by Mayor Terry Hartwick will help with police recruitment and retention. 

"It offers so many great benefits and such as an increase in salary, increase in different things that police officers needed," Captain Dedrick said.

According to the city, entry-level pay will be increasing from $42,000 to $48,000. 

They're also bumping up the uniform allowance and will be adding bilingual pay starting in 2023.

"The increase is everything that we wanted and more. So we're very happy with the outcome of the contract," he said.

The Maumelle Police Department will also be offering a $2,500 sign-on bonus to try and fill open positions.

Maumelle Police Captain, Shannon Giompoletti, said she first noticed the staffing shortage before the pandemic. 

"It makes it hard for officers to take off, be with family, you know, use their vacation, all of those things. But the main concern is, you know, keeping the citizens safe in the city of Maumelle," Captain Giompoletti said.

She also explained that she's currently down 3 officers and hopes that this bonus will attract more applicants. 

"This is actually a new thing for us to get to do this year, for this, this round of hiring. And so hopefully, it's something that we'll be able to continue to do in the future," she said.

North Little Rock Detective, Michael Gibbons, said that officers nationwide, have been seen in a negative light recently but he expects that to change.

"We're seeing a new generation starting to come around, we're seeing these younger guys and young girls that are wanting to give back to the community and wanting to make that change," Detective Gibbons said.

The new North Little Rock Police Department contract will last for two years and the city expects to negotiate another one after that.

Before You Leave, Check This Out