February 22, 2023

$20,000 Incentives Proposed for Joining County Police Department

Montgomery County and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge No. 35 have come to an agreement to begin offering a $20,000 bonus for new sworn police recruits. Full implementation of the bonus program would require County Council approval for Fiscal Year 2024 and beyond budgets.

Funding for the initial part of the effort would be generated through savings accrued from personnel vacancies within the County Police Department.

Police Chief Marcus Jones, in addressing the Public Safety Committee of the County Council earlier this year, said that the department is currently down 129 sworn officers.

“By increasing the starting salaries for police officers, we have moved Montgomery County into a better recruiting position,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I thank the Montgomery County Police Department and FOP leaders for agreeing to this new bonus because I think it will make Montgomery County more attractive to new recruits.”

The announcement is being made amidst a national recruiting shortage impacting most police departments, including in the Washington region. The plans prepare for the next Montgomery recruitment class scheduled to begin in June 2023 at the Public Safety Training Academy.

“Montgomery County, along with our region, has experienced many challenges over the years that has greatly impacted police recruitment,” said Councilmember Sidney Katz, chair of the Council’s Public Safety Commission. “This is an important step to take to enhance our ability to effectively recruit the complement of officers needed in our County.”

Payments of the bonus would be made in stages. The first the payment would account for 10 percent of the total and would come after a new recruit’s first day as a Montgomery County employee.

“We thank the County Executive for working with Lodge 35 on providing a wage and benefit agreement that both helps recruits and retains police officers in Montgomery County, including the studying of a hiring bonus,” said Lee Holland, president of the FOP. “We hope that the County Council approves these much-needed increases so we can again be a competitive agency when it comes to wages and benefits."