The Associated Press
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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The city of Santa Cruz is offering a nearly $10,000 signing bonus to lure new police officers, and almost as much to city employees who recruit them.
The City Council unanimously approved the officer incentive program Tuesday in an effort to attract officers to its depleted police ranks.
The Police Department has 13 vacant police officer positions and seven empty community service officer slots.
Retirements, transfers and the high cost of living in Santa Cruz are blamed for the officer shortage.
The starting annual salary for a police officer trainee is around $60,000 and tops out around $85,000 for a patrol officer before overtime and other salary perks are figured in.