PARK CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – It may not sound like a lot, to some, but Park City needs four officers.
“Well, I call it a crisis. It is a crisis, yes,” says Park City Police Chief Phil Bostain. “About a quarter or a little more of our department is vacant. It forces us to work overtime just simply to cover vacation, holidays, sick leave. Any time an officer takes a day off for any reason we are immediately into an overtime situation.”
The force is supposed to have 17 full-time positions, so being down four officers makes for an interesting shuffle on scheduling.
To meet the needs, the city council in Park City just authorized a pay increase for new officers.
“It’s now $17.80 an hour for starting pay,” explains Bostain. “And we are offering a $2,500 bonus for new officers.”
Bostain says they have also bumped the pay of long-time officers on the force to keep up.
“Just the preliminary results that we have with the applicants and the quality of applicants that we’re starting to see, I think it’s beginning to have an effect,” says Chief Bostain. “I believe it’s going to be successful.”
Bostain says recruiting can be a challenge, competing with other cities. He says Park City is more aggressive now about filling the positions they have open, with an increase in pay and that signing bonus.
“We have good coverage of the city now, and that’s not going to change,” says Bostain. “But we’re very fortunate we have a city council here that saw the problem and realized the need for a pay increase.”