Los Angeles: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa administered the oath of office this morning to the newest and largest police recruit class to enter the Los Angeles Police Academy in ten years.
Eighty-three men and women stood in their business suits and raised their hands to swear an oath to uphold the United States Constitution and protect the residents of Los Angeles. Of the 83 new recruits; 69 will go to the LAPD; 11 will become part of the Airport Police Department; 2 to the General Services Department, which protects City facilities; and 1 more rejoins the LAPD as a lateral officer, who will complete an abbreviated academy.
Mayor Villaraigosa announced his proposal to pay new hires a $5,000 signing bonus, half payable after completing academy training and half at the end of the 18-month probationary period. Lateral officers, hires from other agencies, would earn a $10,000 signing bonus, if the proposal is adopted by the City Council.
"The signing bonuses reflect what is being done in the market place in many service industries,"said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "We want officers to join LAPD out of a sense of service to the community and desire to be part of the LAPD, but the signing bonus gives us an extra perk other smaller agencies can’t offer.”
The mayor’s signing-bonus proposal was announced for the first time today, so none of this class was aware of the incentive, but they may be eligible for the benefit, depending on how the proposal is adopted by the City Council.
About one-fifth of the new class is female. Ten percent of the class is African American and 44% is Latino. All four of the major military services are represented in the class, with several class members having served in Iraq. Twenty-three of the new officers already have academic degrees, and some came from other professions, including mail carriers, teen counselor, actor, detention officer, computer technician, and X-ray technician.
Persons interested in joining the LAPD can go online at www.JOINLAPD.com. The written civil service test is administered almost daily at police stations across the city. The beginning annual salary of an LAPD officer ranges from over $52,000 to nearly $71,000.