Police departments struggle to compete for officers | Government and Politics

Calvert said joining LAGERS, a state retirement plan designed for public employees, would help smaller towns compete, and not just for police officers.

“LAGERS retirement can be bought in several different tiers. Pevely bought their whole city in about five years ago, at the top tier, and it cost about $3.5 million, and they backed everybody up to their start date,” he said. “At some point, somebody is going to have to come up with some money, or theyre going to have to do some legislation and let cities group together in a group retirement fund or something because like, you could take Bonne Terre, Desloge, Park Hills, Leadwood, Bismarck, we could all contribute to the same fund and make it more palatable, and the state could offset funding.

Dedicated profession, with some perks

Having the support of the city council and administration, as well as from local community members, is where it starts, Chief McFarland said.

“I brought it to (city council’s) attention several months ago that we’re going to have to give some sort of incentives for people to apply here,” he said, adding that, one benefit his force has is that they work 12-hour shifts.

“I mean there are schedules set up where you work three, you’re off one, you work three, you’re off three, you work one, and you’re off three. So a lot of people want that schedule because it seems to give greater time off that week that they’re off three, work one, off three. They all really seem to enjoy it. So that is one incentive that we have that most agencies don’t offer.