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  Agenda Item   26.    
City Council Meeting
Meeting Date: 11/16/2021  
FROM: Bill Gallardo

Subject:
Foreign Language Proficiency Police Officer Recruitment Incentive Program
RECOMMENDATION
Authorize a pilot language incentive program to recruit police officers fluent in Mandarin and/or Korean.
BACKGROUND/DISCUSSION
The Police Department is currently faced with two separate issues. First, recruitment continues to be highly competitive, as law enforcement agencies throughout southern California continue to compete for the same applicants. The Department has worked continuously to forecast retirements and strategize recruitment efforts in a way that allows for the maintenance of staffing levels to meet the demands of the community’s evolving needs. To that end, a Police Officer Recruit hiring process is planned for November 2021.

Secondly, a growing Asian-American population has brought about increased police field contacts with Mandarin and Korean-speaking residents. Data from the 2020 census indicates that Brea is home to 13,897 Asian-Americans, which represents 29% of the total population. As of August 2021, the department’s workforce consists of just 11.1% Asian-Americans, and of those staff there is only one Mandarin Chinese-speaking officer and one Korean-speaking officer, which represents less than .05%. While it is standard practice for police departments to request bilingual officers from neighboring agencies as needed for calls, this option does cause delays to service. To meet this demographic need, the department desires to add Mandarin and Korean-speaking officers to its workforce.

In fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21 the Police Department had success with a lateral police officer recruitment bonus incentive pay program, under which seven high-quality lateral police officers were hired. To meet the demands of this two-prong issue, the Police Department and the City’s Human Resources Division have worked together to develop a similar program to provide these candidates with a dual-language bonus incentive pilot program. Current and future Mandarin and/or Korean-speaking candidates for Police Officer Recruit, Police Officer Academy Enrollee or Graduate, and Police Officer Lateral (up to four (4) officers per fiscal year), will be eligible for a $10,000 foreign language bonus program, paid in three installments, if they successfully pass the appropriate foreign language proficiency test. Under this program $2,500 would be paid upon successful completion of the required probationary employment period, another $2,500 would be paid upon completion of three years of service, and a final payment of $5,000 would be issued at the completion of five years of service.
COMMISSION/COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION
The Finance Committee reviewed this item at their November 9, 2021, meeting and recommended it for City Council approval.
FISCAL IMPACT/SUMMARY
The proposed funding allocation for this program is $10,000 per fiscal year beginning in Fiscal Year 2022-23, $20,000 per fiscal year beginning in Fiscal Year 2024-25 and $40,000 per fiscal year beginning in Fiscal Year 2026-27. These allocations allow for the hiring of up to four (4) police officers per year, beginning in Fiscal Year 2021-22, and assume that they successfully complete probation and remain in service through their fifth year.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:
William Gallardo, City Manager
Prepared by: Jamie McDonald, Management Analyst
Concurrence: Adam Hawley, Police Chief
 

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