301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

5.3.23 – MONROE, La. (KNOE)

A new state incentive to recruit police officers cleared its first hurdle in the Louisiana House of Representatives.

House Bill 563 will give first-time law enforcement officers a $5,000 incentive if they become POST Certified and stay at the department for at least two years.

“Anything we can do moneywise to get people’s attention to want to do this type of work is beneficial,” Monroe Police Chief Vic Zordan told KNOE.

Zordan says the incentive is critical to combatting a nationwide officer shortage.

“It’s a catchy headline,” explained Zordan. “You see $5,000 up there, and you’ve got people who may want to go into the business industry, go work offshore, and they see $5,000, and it gets their attention. Then it’s up to the individual police department to show them what we have, the people we have.”

To be eligible, an applicant can’t have previously served as a law enforcement officer in Louisiana.

Zordan says this incentive will complement a $10,000 incentive MPD already has for POST Certified officers.

“We’ve done a big recruiting blitz,” said Zordan. “We have reached up into Arkansas, down to Alexandria, over to Mississippi, and as far as Shreveport. If there is someone in another police department, we offer more money and a better product, and they like, we would be happy to have them.”

However, Zordan says money isn’t the only thing complicating hiring.

“I’m recruiting predominantly 21-23 years old,” explained Zordan. “Ten years ago, they were 11-13. They’ve listened to ten years of defund the police movement, and they see the bad narratives on TV and on Social media, and their parents say, we don’t want you to do that.”

Zordan says he’s hired 45 police officers in his two years on the job and would hire as many as 45 additional officers if possible.

Copyright 2023 KNOE. All rights reserved.