Surfside Beach police implements new program in hopes to retain, attract officers

Surfside Beach police take-home car incentive program

SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - In the upcoming budget, Surfside Beach Town Council approved a new program that would allow police officers to take home patrol cars and also provide incentives.

Surfside Beach Police Chief Kenneth Hofmann says the whole goal is to retain quality officers and attract more potential officers to the agency. The take-home program would allow as many as 14 town officers to drive police vehicles up to 12 miles to and from their homes. Hofmann says the take-home cars will be assigned to officers based on seniority and eligibility. The police department is also requesting three more additional patrol cars.

The recently approved program is a one-year trial period for the department. Hofmann says annual maintenance costs would decrease because the officers will each have a sense of ownership and work to take better care of the vehicles. Over the years, Hofmann says agencies have faced a shortage in officers, and this program is important for the department because it levels the playing field in recruiting.

"When they get in those cars and they come to work, they’re ready to report for duty. They could even in fact respond to an emergency call on their way into work, so that keeps that lag time during shift changes to a minimum,” said Hofmann.

The program also includes some incentives for officers who meet certain requirements. Some pay incentives include military service experience, previous law enforcement experience, beach patrol and field training. Hofmann says law enforcement has always been an industry where there’s a high amount of turnover. He says he hopes this incentive program for Surfside Beach police will allow officers to feel they have a pathway of continuous growth and development in the agency.

“What I hope is that we will be able to slow the turnover down to a manageable number. We like to see our employees grow and develop and sometimes as part of that growth and development, they’re going to seek other things. And then I hope that we’ll be able to attract with the incentives," said Hofmann.

If you’re interested in applying for a position with Surfside Beach police, the agency is recruiting year round.

Click here for a link to the application.

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