Renton Police offer 'one of the highest' signing bonuses at $40,000 to compete for experienced officers

The Renton Police Department is putting money where its mouth is to try and boost staffing levels at its department by having one of the highest lateral hiring bonuses in the area for experienced officers. 

There are just under a half-dozen positions to fill, and they are offering tens of thousands of dollars to sweeten the deal for lateral hires.    

With a relatively large number of newer recruits already hired recently, the department is hoping to attract candidates with more experience. They are hoping that doubling their lateral signing bonus will make that happen.  

"It is definitely one of the highest that I have seen," said Meeghan Black, a spokesperson for the Renton Police Department.

In a push to hire experienced officers, Renton Police raised the bar, ditching the old lateral hiring bonus of $20,000 and doubling it to $40,000. 

"We did have $20,000, which was really significant. In this competitive market, we are trying to find a way to stand out," said Black. "We have doubled our lateral signing bonus to $40,000 and so, what that means is an officer that has 12 months of independent, on-the-street experience, can apply and is eligible for this."

Black says the hefty increase in lateral signing bonuses was made possible due to retirements in the department. 

"This hiring bonus is being paid for by salaries that haven’t been paid over the last couple of years, so we’ve had anywhere from 5 to 10 vacancies and so, that is salary money that is not being paid," said Black. 

Other law enforcement agencies around the region have also been offering competitive lateral signing bonuses over the past several months. 

Here is a breakdown of some of those recent incentives:

  • $40,000 Renton Police Department 
  • $30,000 Federal Way Police Department
  • $30,000 Seattle Police Department 
  • $25,000 Tacoma Police Department
  • $25,000 Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
  • $25,000 Pierce County Sheriff’s Department 
  • $20,000 Auburn Police Department 

In Renton, there is also a competitive package for leave. Black says they are hoping this is the final push needed to get the last five positions filled.  

"The 250 hours of both personal leave and sick leave is credited to their banks immediately upon hire. So, we are sweetening the pot to fill these last few vacancies with some experience," she said. 

While there are only five vacancies currently, there could be more if additional officers retire. Black says the signing bonus offer is good through the end of 2024.   


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