Photo courtesy City of Warren Police Facebook.

City of Warren Police Department Entering State Grant Program in Hopes of Expanding Officer Recruitment

April 21, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – The City of Warren police department is getting proactive in recruiting new officers.

The City is entering into a statewide Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission program with the idea of increasing applicants.

“Law enforcement agencies of all sizes are faced with a recruitment crisis,” said City of Warren Police Chief Joe Sproveri. “Our number of applicants is down from around 20 to five per opening and multiple studies have shown a high percentage of nationwide struggling with recruitment. This is due to multiple social, political, and economic factors impacting retention.”

The department will be pursuing a grant program through the commission that can provide refunds for 75 percent of the training required to be a municipal officer – a total of 919 hours, as well as 45 percent of a prospective candidate’s salary.

“Our department has only hired officers that are already state-certified,” Sproveri said. “This gives candidates an opportunity to be hired and paid to attend the academy.”

Sproveri noted that the program has been utilized by 50 departments across the state, and has seen success in places like Bradford and State College.

“They have reported an increase in the number of quality candidates, including military service veterans,” Sproveri said. “These actions will increase the pool of candidates and allow the selection of the most qualified candidates.”

Applicants to the program will receive $20 per hour for training. Once their training is completed and an officer is sworn in, they will have to reimburse the 25 percent of the training course not covered by the grant.

Sproveri also noted that the program will have a minimal impact on the city’s budget, with wage savings offsetting overtime costs.

“I think this is a great addition to make sure that we get the best and most qualified candidates,” said Mayor David Wortman. “It’s very similar to military ROTC in paying for schooling and service obligation is incurred.”

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