NC Police Shortage: Signing Bonuses Attract New Officers
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Nationwide issue is plaguing North Carolina law enforcement agencies: the NC Police Shortage. This shortage makes it difficult for them to fulfill their responsibility of protecting communities.

Gastonia Police Department’s Solution

The Gastonia Police Department believes a hefty $15,000 signing bonus could be the answer to attracting more officers and alleviate the NC Police Shortage.

This is the highest financial incentive for officers in North Carolina. Their hope is that this bonus will address the NC Police Shortage and allow them to recruit more qualified candidates.

Competition Between Departments

This high bonus has created some competition between departments in the face of the NC Police Shortage.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) offers a higher starting salary than Gastonia, but Gastonia’s bonus might be attractive to some in this economy.

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CMPD’s Perspective

CMPD acknowledges that the bonus is substantial, but they believe law enforcement is a calling and about more than money.

While the Police Shortage is a pressing issue, they believe focusing on the overall value proposition of the career is crucial.

NC Police Shortage Gastonia’s Recruitment Efforts

The City of Gastonia hopes the large bonus will attract more officers to address the NC Police Shortage. They are offering a $15,000 signing bonus to new police recruits from other North Carolina agencies. This targeted approach aims to fill their open positions quickly.

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Challenges and Strategies

Chief Connor acknowledges that this bonus creates an “arms race” where departments try to outdo each other with incentives in the face of the NC Police Shortage.

He says their goal is to get new recruits on the streets faster, with a program that can be as short as seven weeks for experienced officers. This expedited training approach can help address the staffing gaps caused by the NC Police Shortage.

Looking Ahead: Building a Diverse Force

Both CMPD and Gastonia Police Departments say they are working to attract a more diverse force.

Gastonia specifically has a goal of 30% of their force being women by 2030. They are hosting a police officer hiring event on April 13th to help achieve this goal of inclusivity.

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