Brigham City Police Department fully staffed for the first time in 2 years
Sep 13, 2023, 10:26 PM
BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — Brigham City Police Department used to be the most understaffed police department in the state of Utah until the Brigham City police chief set out to solve the problem.
In fact, Brigham City in general has proven hard to keep staffed, according to Kristie Looslie, the manager of a Hallmark store.
“I don’t think people want to work,” she said. “It’s really hard.”
Looslie will do whatever it takes at this point to keep her employees happy.
“If it’s working four hours a day, that’s what we do. If it’s working a couple hours a day, that’s what we do,” she said.
Despite the difficulty, Chief Chad Reyes was determined to get creative. Two years ago, he was named police chief and one of his goals was to obtain a full staff of 31 officers.
He said part of the problem was the fact that Brigham City is a smaller department. Officers would often go to larger departments for better pay.
“The fight you have internally is budget and what needs to happen in order to be fully staffed,” the Brigham City Mayor, Dennis Bott said.
Brigham City officers were down nearly a quarter of their police force when the city decided to increase salaries to keep them and hire new officers at better pay. BCPD began attracting officers from other departments by offering them the vacation time they earned at their previous department, yearly raises, and their ranking system for promotions.
“We can bring somebody over as a lateral master officer rather than just starting them out as a line-level officer,” Chief Reyes said.
His plan worked, and BCPD is now fully staffed for the first time in over two years.
“I literally bet the city manager and the mayor steak dinners on whether or not I’d be able to do this,” Reyes said.
There are now a lot of smaller departments looking at Brigham City’s model, so the trick now will be to keep the department fully staffed.