$5K and Two LR Police Recruits Gone Just Months After Bonus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Wearing the badge comes with a bonus.

"They did what we asked them to do," says Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police Board Member Kevin Simpson.

Simpson says a $5,000 signing bonus is bringing big results to a department facing an ongoing staffing struggle.

"We went to the City because we were having a hard time getting people to apply," says Simpson.

In February, Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore announced the new signing bonus with no strings attached as a surprise to eight police academy graduates.

"What can we do to generate some excitement," said Moore in February.

Two of the eight February recruits left the Little Rock Police Department, taking the $5,000 check with them.

"Could it be done differently? I would say yes it can. Couple ways is to put a stipulation on it," says Simpson.

Simpson says the signing bonus has been an overall success for the department. There were eight recruits in the February's class, 18 graduated last month and there's 26 in a class right now.

He wants the signing bonus to continue but admits there may need to be some stipulations added.

"You have to stay a certain amount of time... you have to finish your probationary period," he says.

Moore's office provided this statement: "The two who have left are from the class of recruits that didn't know they were getting a bonus. The second class to receive the bonus is the first group where all recruits who started the academy also graduated. The City Manager said he will review the program if needed."

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