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Lathrop offering $5k hiring bonuses to police officers
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The City of Lathrop will be giving $5,000 hiring bonuses to police officers who join the newly-formed department.

The bonus was part of a set of comprehensive compensation guidelines that were approved earlier this week by the Lathrop City Council — a vital step in forming the city’s first-ever independent police department that is slated to be in place and operational by the end of June of 2022.

The council also approved to the proposed staffing ratios and pay scale designations for the new department, and will be hiring two commanders, six sergeants, 24 sworn police officers, a police records supervisor, two police records assistants, an HR analyst, an accountant, two community service officers, a crime analyst, and an IT Engineer.

With the previously funded positions — police chief, an HR director, a police services manager, and a senior administrative assistant — the department will have 46 total personnel. Work is already underway to recruit, interview, and hire the city’s first independent police chief — a position that will be responsible for hiring the administrative positions for the department.

While the city is striving to hire lateral officers — already certified police officers working for other agencies — it also has the ability to put future officers through the necessary certification and hire them as non-sworn officers until they complete their training, or hire those currently in a police academy, according to the staff report prepared for the consent calendar item.

New officers would also be provided a $1,200 uniform allowance, 40 hours of vacation and sick time to start off, and a potential 2.5 percent increase for advanced peace officers standards and training certifications and up to 5 percent for those a college degree.

Commanders will be afforded 100 hours of management leave every year, while the police chief will be given 120 hours of management leave every year.

While Lathrop has long harbored ambitions of having its own police department — it’s currently the largest city in San Joaquin County that still contracts for police services — it wasn’t until it found itself in the position of being one of the most fiscally stable cities in the entire state that the decision was made to move forward with the longstanding goal.

While there were some discussions about the need for its own police department back in 2018 when the city was considering jumping to a new contract with the City of Tracy, the decision was made to hold off for several years and continue the longstanding contract with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office has provided police protection for the City of Lathrop since it incorporated in 1989, and even before that as an unincorporated area of San Joaquin County.

In order to better educate the public about the transition period and everything that goes into it, the City of Lathrop has included a special tab on its website with information pertaining to the new police department and the process that the city is currently involved in.

To view those documents, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.