SPEARFISH, SD – To recruit and retain quality candidates who serve their community as emergency dispatchers and police officers, the Spearfish Police Department continues to adapt to evolving workforce expectations by increasing wages, updating employee policies and programs, and expanding its marketing to attract applicants.
“Law enforcement agencies across the country are struggling to recruit and hire, like many industries currently, so we are taking an active approach to recruit and retain personnel to protect and serve Spearfish,” Public Safety Director Pat Rotert said. He explained law enforcement agencies across the board are working to retain staff through focusing on professional development, recognizing and supporting work-life balance, and offering incentives desirable to the newest generation in the workforce.
The City has increased wages for police officers and emergency dispatchers in the last few years, recently adding a $2 per hour shift work stipend for officers and dispatchers, as well as a $4,000 sign-on bonus for both positions. With the addition of the stipend, the starting wage for an emergency dispatcher is $22.87, and the starting wage for a police officer is $28.72.
“We want the best and brightest to work at our agency, and we are lucky to have a city council who understands and supports the need to pay employees a competitive wage,” Public Safety Director Rotert said. “Quality employees are our most valuable asset.”
To assist interested applicants, the police department created a webpage dedicated to answering questions candidates may have about the application process for the police officer position, as it entails a more complex background investigation than many jobs require. The webpage includes sections such as, About Us, Minimum Qualifications for Applying; Pay & Benefits; Application Process; FAQs; and Appy Now! The department also worked with a professional company to create a recruitment video to highlight how police officers are an integral part of the vibrant community in which they live and work.
In addition, the Spearfish Police Department is working to add programming, such as a K9 program with a drug detection dog and handler position; a personally assigned vehicle policy that allows officers to take home patrol vehicles, within the parameters of the policy; and is looking towards bringing a mental health professional onto the department to assist employees.
The work of policing itself is changing, so we as an industry have to change the way we recruit and retain employees who will face challenges their peers of the past may not have faced or may not have been well equipped to handle,” Public Safety Director Rotert said. “
Even as we all struggle to get applicants, we have to raise the bar and find applicants with the skills, temperament, and experiences needed to succeed as an officer in today’s world.”
Candidates interested in joining the Spearfish Police Department team are encouraged to apply at https://www.cityofspearfish.com/161/Career-Opportunities. Those interested in emergency dispatching should click on the “Communications Officer” option; the “Police Officer” option is further down the page.
For more information, contact the Spearfish Police Department Administrative Coordinator at (605) 642-1305.