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State grant to provide bonuses for Ward County law officers

Licensed officers with the Ward County Sheriff’s Office will be eligible for recruitment and retention bonuses under a department plan approved by the Ward County Commission Tuesday.

The 2023 Legislature appropriated funding for Back the Blue grants, for which Ward County is eligible for $130,581.

Sheriff Robert Roed explained that law enforcement and correctional officers who have been with the department for six months on Dec. 20 will receive $600 bonuses under the plan. Going forward, newly hired officers not yet at six months and new hires also will receive the bonuses once they have been employed for six months. After another six months – or a year of employment – each officer will receive another $600.

The program also will reimburse moving expenses for individuals who join the department as licensed officers once they reach six months of employment.

The program will sunset on March 21, 2025.

The department reports it has 33 law enforcement officers, 39 correctional officers and seven officers working in juvenile detention who will qualify for the bonuses this month. Another 10 officers will receive the bonuses once they complete six months of employment.

Authorized for 104 personnel, the department has openings for three correctional officers and two law enforcement officers.

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