DENVER (KDVR) — Denver leaders are reacting to a move by an out of state law enforcement agency that is trying to recruit local officers and deputies.
The Spokane Sheriff’s Department is offering a $15,000 bonus for lateral transfers. It put up six billboards around Denver advertising their offer.
“Recently, we have posted billboards in local areas announce we are hiring 40 Lateral Deputies where law enforcement has not generally had the support of the local elected officials. At this time, we have billboards in Portland, OR. Seattle, WA., and Denver, CO,” a release by the department said.
“My first thought is good for that sheriff for trying to think outside the box. It’s evident he’s having recruitment troubles in his own community. He doesn’t feel the caliber of the people in his community is good enough,” Murphy Robinson, Executive Director of Denver’s Department of Safety, said.
Robinson said he actually takes this as a compliment.
“We should be very, very proud that he believes our Denver folks are trained well, they are good officers, and he wants our folks,” he said.
The billboards went up in three cities that saw a great deal of backlash against law enforcement last year. Some of those departments have experienced a mass exodus of officers retiring or just moving on. Robinson said he wouldn’t characterize Denver’s situation as a “mass exodus,” but said there have been several officers that have chosen to step away from the job here.
“What I’ve told officers over and over again: you are supported. You’re supported by me, the top law enforcement official in the city, you’re supported by the vast majority of our city. I cannot tell you how many calls I get from our residents who say we want our police, we love our police, and we want them to thrive in our city,” he said.
Robinson said he wants officers to go where they will be happiest. He said Denver does most of its recruiting in the metro area and within the state.
“I don’t think I’ll be putting up a billboard in his community because I think we have a good bench in Denver that we have to work from,” he said.
Nick Rogers, the president of Denver Police Protective Association that represents Denver police officers shared a similar sentiment.
“It appears Spokane, Washington recognizes the quality of officers on the Denver Police Department, and we are proud of the well-trained professionals on our department. I am sure Spokane is a wonderful city, but the City of Denver is hands-down a better and great place to live and work,” he said.