BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The city has planned to up its strategy when it comes to police recruitment. They will soon offer up to $15,000 dollars in incentives.

Amid high crime rates, Baton Rouge and its police department have been working to get more people in uniforms.

“The more boots on the ground, the more officers we can place in different areas throughout the department and different areas throughout the city,” stated Baton Rouge Police Department Lt. L’Jean McKneely.

McKneely said their staffing is still short by about 100.

“With the additional manpower, we can have one officer doing one job instead of that, one officer doing two and three different jobs,” he explained.

The proposed incentive, supported by federal dollars, target newcomers and those coming in from another police department.

“Those non-police personnel who have not been police officers will receive $10,000,” stated McKneely. “Those who are post-certified, that have already been police officers in particular areas and have decided to come work with the Baton Rouge Police Department, will receive $15,000.”

“This is great,” stated Baton Rouge Union of Police Bill Profita. “Now, what’s next down the road? When do we see the announcement of the incentives for veteran officers?”

The Baton Rouge Union of Police said investing in retainment for those already wearing a uniform should also be talked about.

“It’s to prevent or slow the early retirements we’re seeing or these officers being incentivized to go on to other employment,” said Profita.

Profita says having experienced officers in the field is crucial.

“We want to keep our good, reliable, experienced officers that know the city, know the situations, and more importantly, we’ll be there to train these new officers to be their field training officers as they come on,” he explained.

The incentive will be given in increments after the new recruits hit a year. The proposal will be reviewed for adoption at EBR Metro Council in December.