Golden Valley Looks to Hire Police from Other Cities to Fill Staffing Needs
An officer shortage in Golden Valley is prompting the police department to take creative measures to respond to calls and fill vacancies.
The Golden Valley Police Department currently has 17 sworn officers, but they’re budgeted to have 31. During a city council work session this week, Police Chief Virgil Green laid out some of the reasons for the officer shortage and discussed steps to fill that void in the meantime.
“This isn’t a profession where people are really just running through your door, filling out applications or getting online submitting applications,” said Chief Green. “It’s a struggle all across the country to get people who want to become police officers.”
Besides recruiting, one of the biggest issues for Golden Valley is trying to retain officers.
According to city documents, some of the officers who left cited a “toxic work culture.” City documents also say Golden Valley’s “low crime volume” is another deterrent, and new recruits want to work for a city where there is “a lot of action.”
“If you’re looking for the high crime rates and the homicides and all that, Golden Valley isn’t the city where that is happening,” Chief Green said.
To address the shortage in the short term, Golden Valley has partnered with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to have deputies cover shifts.
For investigative work, the city has hired Belcom, a Bloomington-based security company made up of former officers.
And for medical calls, the city is relying on the help of the Golden Valley Fire Department.
But in the long term, the Golden Valley Police Department hopes to hire officers away from other cities who are looking for opportunities to advance their career.
“The main message is that if you’re looking for professional growth within a police department, and you’re not getting it where you’re at, we have those opportunities here,” Chief Green said.
Meanwhile, the city is offering a $10,000 hiring incentive to recruit more officers to fill those open positions.
The incentive would be paid as follows:
- $1,500 on first paycheck
- $3,500 upon completion of field training
- $5,000 upon completion of probationary training (typically one year)
Chief Green says officers in Golden Valley can make between $75,000 to $100,000 a year, depending on experience.