The Brewer Police Department is offering a whopping $20,000 sign-on bonus to experienced cops who transfer to their department.

It's no secret that public safety agencies around the country have been struggling to find qualified applicants. Maine is no exception, with police and fire departments advertising for new employees, and offering incentives to entice applicants.

Brewer's Police Department appears to be offering the largest incentive, so far. Or, at least, the largest we've seen. Right now, Brewer is offering a $20,000 hiring bonus for police officers who make a lateral entry. In layman's terms, that's an experienced cop who transfers from another department. Qualified candidates have to be certified by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and be full-time officers in good standing with a law enforcement agency in the state of Maine. Any out-of-state candidates must be eligible for a BLETP waiver. (that's Basic Law Enforcement Training Program)

In order to be accepted, candidates will have an interview with an oral board panel, with the administration team, and be the subject of a background investigation. If they pass all that and are hired, they'll be eligible for a hiring bonus of up to $20,000. Now, before candidates go shopping for an inground pool for the backyard, they should realize that this won't be paid in cash the day they walk in wearing a Brewer Police Department uniform. The $20,000 will be paid in installments over 2 years, and will only go to officers with 5 or more years of full-time experience since their full-time MCJA certification. The amount of the bonus will decrease proportionally for officers with fewer years of experience. Find more information about requirements, pay, and how to apply on the Brewer Police Department's Facebook page. 

But, if you're the right fit, that's a pretty nice incentive for moving to Brewer. I can tell you, I grew up here and it's a really nice place to live. Our high school mascot is the witches, but don't let that scare you. We're not cooking up potions in a cauldron. Well, most of us aren't.

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