SEATTLE (AP) – Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has proposed a hiring bonus of up to $15,000 in order to attract experienced officers to the city’s police force.

The Seattle Times reports Durkan said in a statement Thursday that the city needs to jump into the nationwide competition for experienced police officers.

Seattle has lost so-called lateral transfers to other police departments offering bonuses.

Seattle also fell behind in salaries during negotiations over a new contract with the Seattle Police Officers Guild. Officers worked since the end of 2014 without a contract until November, when the City Council ratified a six-year agreement, retroactive to 2015, that made Seattle officers the highest paid in the state.

Police Chief Carmen Best says the bonuses will help recruit top candidates.

Durkan’s offer requires City Council approval.

Information from: The Seattle Times,

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