The Tuscaloosa City Council approved new cash bonuses for the recruitment, retention and referral of new police officers during their weekly meeting Tuesday night.

The bonuses approved will see new patrol officers get $5,000 in bonus payouts if they remain with the department for three years.

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A city spokesperson said effective immediately, any patrol officer hired by TPD will receive $2,000 after the completion of their probationary period of employment and another $1,500 at the end of their second and third years of employment.

The city is also offering to reward its employees with a $2,500 bonus if they refer a new patrol officer who is hired and passes muster by completing their probationary period. Note the referral bonus is only available for people working for the city of Tuscaloosa although it is not limited to members of the police department.

The council will also vote next week on allowing patrol officers to take their police vehicles home instead of swapping in and out of a personal vehicle every shift.

"This investment will help us hire the best candidates so we can maintain the high level of service our citizens deserve,” Chief of Police Brent Blankley said. “We’re competing with other departments to hire the very best from a pool of candidates that keeps shrinking. Take-home cars have become routinely offered at other departments, and we’ve seen more sign-on bonuses offered in the last year. This is what we need to do to stay competitive, and we’re grateful to the council for taking this step.”

Anyone interested in joining the Tuscaloosa Police Department can visit to learn more or visit in person during a TPD Career fair on the afternoon of March 30th at the Tuscaloosa River Market.

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