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INDIANAPOLIS– The city of Indianapolis has a new plan to recruit police officers: Pay them more. 

The salary for first-year Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department recruit officers, currently at $39,446 per year, will jump to $51,000 starting in June. 

Chief Bryan Roach and Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Thursday that the salary for second-year officers will also jump from $47,600 to $59,500. 

“I’m really excited,” IMPD recruit Kilian Sweet said. “I’ve wanted to be a police officer for a while and I’m just really excited now that I can make ends meet a little bit more and just have a little bit extra spending money for me and my wife to do things.” 

IMPD said the plan will make them more competitive with other police departments. 

Chief Roach said city leaders started discussing the idea back in June when IMPD realized they were falling short of recruiting goals. 

Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder praised the plan. 

“The starting pay used to be an obstacle, as to, why would you want to go to IMPD? Now we’ve removed that off the table and we’re able to level the playing field,” Snyder said. “When we do that, we could really compete.” 

Mayor Hogsett also announced that officers can now earn extra money for recruiting new police officers. A current IMPD officer can earn $250 when a new recruit is sworn in, and another $250 when the recruit graduates from the academy. 

Roach said the city is still deciding on how many bonuses an officer can earn. 

“There’s an incentive to have that extra discussion, to maybe reach out to that person, where maybe they would not have in the past,” Roach said. 

IMPD expected 69 officers to leave the department in 2018, but more than 100 left, mostly through retirement after years with IMPD. Snyder is hoping the raises will help offset the effects of attrition. 

City leaders said they can fund the raises using the 2019 budget.  

Story by Tim McNicholas