**FILE** Acting D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee (Courtesy of MPD via Twitter)
**FILE** Acting D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee (Courtesy of MPD via Twitter)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee III announced Friday a new $20,000 hiring bonus to recruit new officers.

The new bonus is part of the mayor’s fiscal 2023 budget, which the D.C. Council approved, that includes 347 new officers to the department. The city’s new budget goes into effect on Oct. 1, but Bowser expedited the program to allow the department to start recruiting.

“We know how critical it is to have a fully staffed and resourced MPD, and that requires us to hire strong talent and to retain experienced officers,” Bowser said. “My message to the community is this: If you’re looking for a way to serve the community, if you like interacting with people, if you like helping people, if you want to work at the best police department in the country, then go to joinmpd.dc.gov and consider a career with MPD.”

In addition to the $20,000 hiring bonus, qualified applicants are eligible for a $6,000 housing stipend. The current starting salary at MPD is $60,199 and coupled with the new bonus, first-year officers could earn more than $80,000.

Contee said the $20,000 hiring bonus is a tool in his effort to beef up his department.

“It has been one of my visions for the department to retain members and take care of our own, who proudly show up to work each and every day; and Mayor Bowser’s announcement today is just one step we have planned for our current and future members,” the chief said. “Our goal is that these recruiting incentives will create a pipeline to success for residents and for our youth, who too often find themselves in harm’s way with illegal firearms and crime.”

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