Henderson police will hire retired officers to help with shortage

The Henderson Police Department says it will hire retired officers next year to help with a shortage.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 1:47 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Henderson Police Department plans to hire recently retired officers next year to help with its police shortage.

It’s part of a temporary, two-year solution to boost staffing levels with experienced officers.

Earlier this month, the city council voted to approve two critical labor shortage designations for Henderson police and corrections officers.

“Unfortunately the law enforcement community is struggling to hire new applicants, and that it’s not just here,” said Sgt. Julio Delgado with the Henderson Police Department.

Per the City of Henderson’s vacant report from November 13, 2023, it has the following vacancies:

• 10 Corrections Officers

• 58 Police Officers

• 6 Police Sergeants

• 2 Police Lieutenants

The Henderson Police Department has hired 96 police officers in the last two years. Most recently, the department graduated 11 recruits on Oct. 26, who entered 22 weeks of field training. Another academy class began in September 2023 with 14 recruits who are expected to graduate in March 2024, according to its website.

Retirees being rehired into a critical labor shortage positions must have:

• Received their first retirement benefit payment

• Retired with no penalty for not meeting age eligibility; or

• If retired and drawing a PERS retirement benefit with an age penalty, must have achieved the age necessary to have retired with no penalty by the time they are rehired

“Getting more bodies being able to maybe alleviate a position in the back office to then be able to put boots on the ground being able to respond to calls for service, just putting more people on the road,” he said.

So what’s driving the recruitment crisis?

According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, there are a number of reasons including a low number of applicants, generational differences, image of law enforcement, and pay.

“Money is always a challenge, people want to get paid more, I can see that being a factor, cost of living is going up, gas money, rent,” he added.

The starting pay for officers at HPD is nearly $60,000 a year, and could include a bonus of up to $5,000.

“It depends on the experience that you bring to the table as for as military experience, college experience, background,” Delgado said.

Applicants must be 21 years old or older and have a high school diploma or GED.

" It is a great place to work, law enforcement is a very novel career, it’s a choice, it’s a calling

The program will start in March of 2024 and will go into effect for two years, and will need council approval for an extension.