RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Recruiting and keeping employees has been a challenge across industries. From the service industry to education to emergency responders, employers are trying to pin down how to sustain an adequate workforce.
Like almost every other municipality, Raleigh is facing a loss of officer to either retirements or resignation.
Currently, the department reports an overall vacancy rate of 15 percent. Raleigh police tells CBS 17 there are 123 vacancies for sworn officers, creating a 15 percent vacancy rate. The department also says there are 15 vacancies for non sworn positions, resulting in a 13 percent vacancy rate.
Raleigh city councilmember David Cox requested data from the city regarding the rate at which they’re losing officers since January 2020.
In all, Cox said there have been 163 resignations and 73 retirements since January 2020.
Cox posted that data saying it showed retirements are trending downward. Retirements went from an average of about three per month, closer to two per month, according to the data he shared. That data showed the worse months for retirements were April 2021 and December 2021 when five officers retired for each of those months.
While fewer retirements may be good news, resignations are trending up according to the data shared by Cox. The went from about 3.5 per month in January 2020 to an average of nearly seven per month through as of July. October alone saw 14 resignations.
The department has been working to increase the numbers in their ranks. One police academy class graduated in May with another scheduled for October.
A new pay scale for Raleigh police just went into effect as part of the new city budget. That raise starts police officers at $50,301 a year, up from the $42,300 it was previously. Lateral-entry officers can start at up to $66,124.
As an incentive, the city is also offering a $5,000 bonus for officers making a lateral move from another department with at least two years experience. Those with less than two years experience are still offered a $2,500 incentive bonus.