To fill about 500 police positions over the next two years, Phoenix is recruiting police officers from Southern California with the pitch that it’s cheaper to live in the desert than near the Pacific Ocean. The city’s brochure for recruits features a four-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot home with a pool, saying that the median home in the Phoenix area is half the cost of a similar house in Southern California. “I have high hopes we will improve our recruiting out of Southern California,” said Phoenix police Sgt. Tony Lopez, who’s in charge of recruiting.
“The Southern California folks who are bailing out, we would like them to come to Phoenix,” Lopez said. Phoenix police officers earn $40,476 to $58,531 annually, but a first-year officer should make about $45,000 a year with overtime and bonuses, he said. Bilingual officers can earn extra money, and the city has a college tuition reimbursement program.