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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The state's largest police department is
looking to Lexington to add new recruits.
Beginning Monday, the Louisville Metro Police Department will run recruiting advertisements on local TV in Lexington. Other ads will be pasted on the backs of city buses and on local movie screens.
In recent years, the department has been searching beyond Jefferson County's borders to locations as far-flung as New York and Hawaii. Recruiting posters hang at the stadium where the St. Louis Rams play football, said Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Barry Denton. Eleven officers from Detroit have joined after layoffs there, and there are 15 former Lexington officers who moved to Louisville.
The department, like others around the country, is facing an anticipated wave of retirements of baby boomers. Louisville police have also raised standards for recruits, now requiring them to have completed at least 60 credit hours from an accredited college.
"What better town than Lexington to look for people with education?" Denton said.
New recruits with Louisville police can expect to make about $28,000 in base pay plus incentive pay, which can be a few thousand dollars. An officer coming in with five years experience can start just above $35,000, Denton said.
In comparison, a beginning recruit or an officer with experience transferring from another department to Lexington can make $33,388 plus $3,100 in incentive training pay.
Michael Crews, of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said the competition among law enforcement agencies can be fierce.
"We can talk all we want about opportunities, but at the end of the day, it's how much are you going to pay me?" he said.
Louisville's latest recruitment effort makes the competition tighter for Lexington police, said Chief Anthany Beatty.
Five years ago, Lexington had lost several officers to other agencies because of pay.
"We were getting bombarded," Beatty said. But he said it remains a challenge to offer an attractive salary and benefits package.
Pay is "an issue that has to be dealt with across the country, and we'll continue to work on it," Beatty said. "We're moving in the right direction, but not there yet."
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader