It’s the sought-after skyline that draws so many to Seattle, and now the city’s police department is using a picture of it to say, ‘we’re hiring.’
Seattle police are putting up recruiting billboards in Detroit, Chicago, and Indianapolis.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Bryan Roach noticed the big advertisement in their backyard along Shadeland Avenue on the city’s southeast side.
“They must see something here in the Midwest and with our police officers that they want or need there in Seattle. So, it makes you feel good, but at the same time, I’m upset because those are the same people we are trying to draw. It is just going to have to make us better and more competitive,” said Chief Roach.
Seattle police Detective Patrick Michaud said they wanted a large pool of candidates they could draw from and select the best to represent the city.
“When you go out to the Midwest you have a bunch of big cities that are really clustered together in that three-hour circle,” said Det. Michaud.
Recruiters are specifically seeking experienced officers who want to leave their current department for Seattle.
“It is going to take us less time to get them through the academy because of their prior experience,” said Det. Michaud.
The department now counts their viral lip-sync video as a recruiting tool along with the possibility of higher pay.
“It’s a healthy increase in pay when you come out to the West Coast as opposed to the Midwest,” Det. Michaud said.
There’s also a healthy increase in the cost of living. A cost-of-living comparison on NerdWallet.com shows if you move from Indianapolis to Seattle, you will find housing costs are 119 percent higher. Transportation costs are also 31 percent higher.
According to the city of Indianapolis’s website, a second-year patrol officer makes $47,651 a year. For a second-year patrol officer to maintain their standard of living in Seattle, they’d need to earn $74,534.
So, what would an Indianapolis officer make in Seattle?
According to the Seattle Police Department’s website, if the new labor contract is ratified, the 2019 salary schedule would pay a lateral officer with at least two years’ experience more than $91,000 a year.
However, in Indianapolis, when patrol officers have been on the job for three years, they see a significant pay raise. The salary jumps from $47,651 for second-year patrol officers to $65,452 for third-year patrol officers.
Recruiters from Seattle police will be in Indianapolis in November to test officers with more than two years of experience.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan recently proposed adding 40 new police officers in the 2019-2020 budget.