News Details

Police Announce New Recruiting Initiatives and Hiring Incentives

The Palo Alto Police Department is kicking off a major recruiting campaign this month to hire new police officers and public safety dispatchers, and to attract experienced officers from other agencies.

Since the hiring of qualified officers is a challenge right now for police agencies throughout the Bay Area and California, the Palo Alto Police Department is currently offering a $25,000 cash incentive for "lateral" officers (those who are currently serving as an officer for another agency) who switch departments and come to work in Palo Alto.  The Department is also currently offering a $10,000 cash incentive for officer applicants who have already graduated from a police academy.  Incentive recipients receive half of the money upon being hired, and the second half upon completing their first year of employment.

Our Department is looking to hire 12 officers to return to our authorized strength of 92 sworn personnel.  These vacancies have created shortages in various areas throughout the Department (resulting in the loss of a full-time traffic enforcement team, a full-time downtown patrol team, and positions in our detective bureau), while we focus our resources on ensuring that we can safely staff our patrol division and meet our community's needs.  All potential officers must still meet our same rigorous hiring standards, details of which can be found on our website at  Our hiring standards are not being relaxed to fill positions.

Our Department is also looking to hire five public safety dispatchers to reach our authorized strength of 20.

Recruiting efforts throughout the summer already have been successful, with five new officers currently in our training program who are expected to hit the streets within the next several weeks.  We currently have four recruit officers attending the police academy.  These nine staff members are not counted in our total of 12 current vacancies.

The cash incentives are being paid for out of salary savings from the vacant 12 positions.  The incentives are part of a larger recruiting campaign that is kicking off this month.  Department personnel are regularly visiting job fairs, public events, colleges and military institutions to recruit qualified personnel.  We are also placing brand new advertisements in trade publications.

The City of Palo Alto offers a generous salary and benefits package for police officers and public safety dispatchers.  Full details can be found in the “Recruiting” section of our website at

Last Updated September 11, 2017