- Associated Press - Monday, June 5, 2017

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Mayor Jim Matherly is introducing an ordinance to offer $20,000 bonuses to lateral police recruits who commit to the Fairbanks Police Department for three or more years.

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner reports (https://bit.ly/2rsZHTk ) the Fairbanks City Council will introduce the ordinance Monday when it meets.

Fairbanks police has been understaffed for more than a year due to its pay falling behind other departments in Alaska and around the country.

City spokeswoman Teal Soden says the finance committee recently learned it costs $40,583 to put a police recruit through the academy, pay them and give them benefits. The city would save more than $20,000 for every lateral recruit with the proposed bonus.

Police Chief Eric Jewkes says he hopes the bonus will bring the police department to a full staff.

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