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Santa Cruz Police Offers $2,000 Referral Bonus To The Public for Lateral Police Hires

Santa Cruz Police will offer a first-of- its- kind Citizen Hiring Bonus to community members who recruit sworn police officers from anywhere in the U.S. to transfer to the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD).

Community members can receive up to $2,000 when they refer a lateral police officer hired by SCPD.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is always searching for good people to join the team. Research has shown, and experience supports, that new hires who come into the organization through referrals are excellent contributors.

Citizens Hiring Bonus: $2,000 Recruitment Incentive For Lateral Police Hires

That’s where the community recruiting comes in! The new Citizen Hiring Bonus Program also is an important way to include the public in the police officer recruitment process by incentivizing people to recommend qualified police officers and who would be beneficial to the Santa Cruz Police Department.  Members of the public would be eligible for an incentive of up to $2,000!

“This program extends our marketing reach — call it ‘crowd recruiting,’” Police Chief Andy Mills said. “We think there is immense value in community members participating in the process of recruiting the good, capable officers charged with protecting our city.”

Eligible officers can be recruited from anywhere in the U.S. They must have completed police academy and spent time as a sworn officer with a police agency. The officer, when applying, can designate who referred him or her and to make that person eligible for the $2,000 Citizen Hiring Bonus.

The incentive bonus will be paid out in installments. The first $1,000 is disbursed when the candidate is sworn in. The second disbursement of $1,000 is paid when the candidate completes the first six months of employment.  Also, the lateral officer will personally receive a $20,000 bonus for completing the hiring requirements.

Citizens Hiring Bonus Program Rules:

1. Referral Eligibility: All community members in state or out of state, except Human Resources personnel, Training Academy personnel, Recruitment Unit personnel, and managers with hiring authority over the referred are eligible to refer candidates.
2. The Citizens Hiring Bonus referral must represent the candidate’s first referral contact with the Santa Cruz Police Department.
3. The Citizens Hiring Bonus referrals must first be submitted on the Candidate Referral Form to be eligible for an incentive.
4. The referring community member must agree to have his/her name used for on Candidate Referral form introduction.
5. The officer candidate will be the only referring one citizen’s name to be eligible for payment of the bonus.
6. Only lateral officer candidates who successfully meet the qualifications for the position to be considered.
7. All lateral officer candidates to be evaluated for employment consistent with Santa Cruz Police Department policies and procedures.
8. All information regarding the hiring decision will remain strictly confidential.
9. Any disputes or interpretations of the program to be handled through the Santa Cruz Police Recruitment management.
10. Citizens Hiring Bonus referral incentive payments paid in two installments. The first installment of $1,000 paid when the candidate is hired. The second installment of $1,000 to be awarded once your candidate completes their six-month probationary period.
11. Any questions or concerns about the Citizens Hiring Bonus Referral Program, please contact SCPD Recruitment Unit Sgt. Wes Morey via email at or (831) 420-5819

Have the officer apply online at