EXPANDING, HIRING & RETAINING
November 14, 2007
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Committee Members …………………………………………………… p. 2
II. Executive Summary ……………………………………………………. p. 3
III. Overview ………………………………………………………………… p. 4
a. Purpose of Assessment ………………………………………………. p. 4
b. South Portland Police Department …………………………………… p. 6
c. City of South Portland ……………………………………………….. p. 7
IV. Discussion and Recommendations …………………………………….. p. 8
a. Department Staffing ………………………………………………….. p. 8
b. Hiring Process …………………………………………………………p. 10
c. Lateral Entry ………………………………………………………….. p. 14
d. Schedule ……………………………………………………………… p. 15
e. Compensation ………………………………………………………… p. 17
V. Conclusions ……………………………………………………………… p. 19
VI. Appendix ………………………………………………………………… p. 20
a. South Portland Police Organizational Chart …………………………. p. 21
b. South Portland Police Officer Job Announcement …………………... p. 22
c. City of South Portland Nighttime Population / Housing Units ………. p. 23
d. City of South Portland Average Annual Daily Traffic Flow ………… p. 24
e. Police Department Activity / Crime Statistics ……………………….. p. 25 - 30
f. Department Staffing Statistics ……………………………………….. p. 31
g. Competitive Wage / Benefit Survey – 2007 …………………………. p. 32
VII. Bibliography …………………………………………………………….. p. 33
Page 1 of 33
I. COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Mayor Claude Morgan formed a multi-disciplined committee in 2007 to address
concerns about the South Portland Police Department’s ability to attract, hire and
retain police officers for the City of South Portland. The committee was composed of
residents and non-residents:
Claude Morgan, Mayor John Geddis, General Manager
Committee Chairman The Maine Mall
City of South Portland City Council 207.828.2063 ext. 221
Linda Boudreau, Councilor Edward Palmer, General Manager
City of South Portland City Council Portland Marriott
James Gailey, Acting City Manager David Niklaus, Interim Dean
City of South Portland Administration & Finance, SMCC
Edward Googins, Chief of Police Wayne Ross, Resident
City of South Portland Police Department 1 Franklin Terrace, South Portland
207.799.5517 ext. 2 207.799.5604
Frank Clark, Lieutenant Robert Schwartz, Chairman
City of South Portland Police Department COSP Civil Service Commission
207.799.9720 ext. 242 207.767.2214
The committee wishes to extend its gratitude to Jennifer Scholz, City Clerk’s Office, for her
support and assistance in documenting and providing minutes of the committee’s meetings.
Page 2 of 33
II. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
Recommendations: Hire three new sworn officers by 2010; resolve to offer
competitive salary and benefits; streamline hiring process to identify and attract
qualified candidates; change ordinance language to allow lateral entry and ability to
start at higher pay steps; allow flexibility for scheduling options.
20 percent of the force is now eligible for retirement—that number is
expected to hit 75 percent in 2012
SPPD is currently staffed by the same number of patrol cars that were on
the road during the 1970s
the City witnessed a 32-percent drop in traffic stops, including resulting
OUI arrests between 2000 and 2006
SPPD now tracks and registers up to 40 sex offenders
competition is heating up to attract and hire qualified candidates regionally
SPPD is one of the few agencies in Maine that does not offer lateral entry
compensation is a material factor in hiring and retaining police officers
Page 3 of 33
PURPOSE OF ASSESSMENT:
The City of South Portland faces a crisis in attracting, hiring and retaining police
officers. The problem is simple: The demand for sworn officers is rising while
the number of eligible applicants for the job is declining. The City is not alone.
Other police agencies in Maine and the nation are facing similar shortages of
qualified candidates. Many are now pursuing aggressive marketing campaigns to
attract the required number of qualified candidates to fill their ranks.
The police department’s ability to retain officers, once hired and trained, is also a
prime concern. Since 1990, approximately 45 percent of the department’s
officers have left for reasons other than retirement. Of the 38 hired since that
time, only 21 are still employed by the department. Three were laid off in
December 1991 and never re-hired. Six left to pursue law enforcement jobs with
the State of Maine. Four left to take jobs at other municipal departments. Three
resigned for other employment. And two were terminated during probation
The purpose of this report is to furnish the City Council with recommendations
that will help increase the City’s ability to attract, hire, and retain the highest
qualified officers—and expand the size of the force.
The South Portland Police Department is a professional law enforcement agency.
And this Committee makes special note that the market forces described in this
report, while onerous to the department, in no way diminish the professionalism
of our police force or—in any way—lower the high standards under which this
department currently operates.
This committee considered a number of factors that relate Over half of all
to the short-term health of manpower within the small agencies
department, as well as the long-term success of manning and two-thirds
the department in the future. Members were asked to of all large
examine the facts found on the ground today as indicators agencies report
of future conditions. a lack of
The facts speak for themselves: police
Feet on the Ground
Four patrol officers currently respond to emergency calls in South Portland—the
same number of sworn officers available for response in 1970. Specifically, that
means that four officers are responding, within any given period of time and on
any given patrol shift, to either one major incident or two priority calls before
Page 4 of 33
relying on assistance from neighboring police departments. These numbers
reflect the highest professional standards for responding to emergency calls.
This so-called ―four-car patrol‖ has a direct impact on our neighbors. In 2005,
neighboring agencies responded to 189 requests for assistance in South Portland.
Officers from Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth are often the first to respond in
our community to fights, domestic violence, and even bank robberies taking place
just blocks away from the Public Safety Building. By contrast, South Portland
officers responded to approximately half that number of requests from
As the number of calls for service increases, so too does the gravity of those calls
In 2006, three South Portland police officers were involved in two separate
officer-involved shooting incidents. One officer suffered four gunshot wounds.
Clearly, criminal activity is increasingly more volatile in South Portland. And
officers feel the stress of an increased workload and low staffing levels.
Things to Come
At the moment, our officers are coping with this crisis in hiring and retaining, but
for how long? Ten sworn officers are now eligible for retirement—nearly 20
percent of the force. In 2012, that number is expected to hit 75 percent. This
anticipated turnover, coupled with a dramatic drop in the number of qualified
applicants1 and a reduction in the number of available annual training sessions at
the Maine Criminal Justice Academy2 begs the question: How will the City of
South Portland fill these positions over the next decade?
Officers serve for shorter periods
in smaller agencies than in larger
10 to 25 today, compared with 100 to 200 during the 1980s and 1990s.
There are only two (2) 18-week Basic Law Enforcement Training programs offered per year.
Page 5 of 33
SOUTH PORTLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT:
The South Portland Police Department was formed in 1928,3 and is responsible
for providing around-the-clock police services to the City of South Portland. The
department is considered a progressive organization and enjoys an excellent
reputation within the State’s law enforcement community. The department’s
officers are well trained and well respected within the community.
As of January 2008, the department will have an authorized strength of fifty-two
(52) sworn personnel, from the Chief of Police to the most junior Patrol Officer.
The department is organized into two divisions: the Patrol and Community
Services Division and the Support and Investigative Division.
The Patrol and Community Service Division is composed of uniformed patrol
officers and is considered the backbone of the department, responsible for
providing 24/7 emergency services for the entire city. Lieutenants and sergeants
oversee patrol officers in this division. Officers are assigned to geographical
patrol areas, or ―beats,‖ in the city.4 There are four patrol officers available to
respond to emergency calls at any time of day.
The Support and Investigative Division contains the specialty assignment
positions that support the Patrol Division and department mission. This Division
is comprised of one sergeant, detectives, a drug investigator (assigned to the
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency), an Evidence Technician/Property Officer, a
Court Officer and a Youth Aid Officer. An organizational chart depicting the
department’s structure can be found in the Appendix.
For the past few years, the department has been responding to approximately
34,000 calls for service, which include anything from animal complaints, graffiti
and vandalism reports, and vehicle collisions, to domestic violence, sexual
assaults, robberies, and threats with a deadly weapon.
Two-thirds of all departing
officers in small agencies and
about a third of those in large
agencies leave after five or less
years of service
History of the South Portland Police Department, Officer Everett Moulton,
Including specialized assignments, such as the High School Resource Officer and the Maine Mall Officer.
Page 6 of 33
CITY OF SOUTH PORTLAND:
The City of South Portland is the State’s fourth largest municipality. South
Portland covers approximately 13-square miles and is bordered by the
municipalities of Portland, Westbrook, Scarborough, and Cape Elizabeth. The
City’s geography is varied and includes significant coastline and a working
waterfront. It has two major commuter bridges connecting it with the City of
Portland, and also has several major thoroughfares running through it, including
portions of US Route 1, Interstate 95 (Maine Turnpike), Interstate 295, and Maine
Routes 9 and 77.
South Portland is home to a residential population of approximately 24,000.5 The
City’s daytime population, however, expands significantly due to an increasingly
large transient population, represented primarily by the business, industrial, retail,
and educational sectors of our workforce, all of which require varying levels of
police service. There are approximately 55,500 employees in the area of the
Maine Mall. Visitors to the West End range in population from 46,000 to
102,000 per day, resulting in the additional daily-traffic flow of between 65,000
and 71,000 vehicles.6 Additional traffic flow statistics are included in the
In combination with the Maine Mall and surrounding retailers, South Portland is
home to one of New England’s largest shopping destinations. Major national and
international corporations, including Fairchild Semiconductor, National
Semiconductor, Anthem Blue Cross, Wright Express, and Portland Pipeline, have
facilities located in South Portland. It is home to a growing college population. It
is also home to the largest number of hotel rooms in Southern Maine. South
Portland’s jurisdiction includes the second busiest oil port on the eastern
seaboard, several tank farms, portions of the Portland International Jetport, and
the Rigby Rail Yard. Security concerns abound: Local, State, and federal
authorities consider many of these areas ―primary‖ homeland security targets.
US Census Bureau Data, 2006
Emergency Evacuation/Detour Plan, 2006
Page 7 of 33
IV. DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
Effective January 2008, the South Portland Police Department is authorized by
the City to hire and maintain 52 sworn officers. In practice, the department
protects the City with fewer officers than that: Injury, illness, and retirement take
a toll in the workforce.
A brief history: In 1970 the number of sworn officers funded by the City was 48.
In the 1980s, the City authorized the department to increase that number to 54.
The City laid off three police officers to accommodate budget obligations in
1991—making its authorized strength 51. Effective 2008, the department’s sworn
strength will be 52. Forty-nine of those officers are municipally funded positions.
A number are funded through a combination of state and federal grants, as well as
Recommendation: Hire three new sworn officers by FY 2010
Explanation: Hiring three new sworn officers will move the department towards a
―five-car‖ force, dramatically increasing the availability of officers to respond to
new emergency calls.
SPPD is currently staffed at a ―four-car patrol,‖ the same number of patrol cars on
the road during the 1970s. Between May and November of 2005, for example,
the department maintained only the minimum four-car patrol 34 percent of the
time during dayshift (7AM to 3PM); 52 percent of the time during second shift
(3PM to 11PM): and 75 percent during the late shift (11PM to 7AM).
The committee wishes to acknowledge the
number and variety of tasks officers are
Only a fifth of those leaving
expected to perform within any given shift.
small agencies depart for
And still officers find time to engage residents,
face to face, in our community—advancing so-
called ―community policing.‖ Community
policing is considered ―best practice‖ and a
demonstrable deterrent to crime. Members further acknowledge that the impact of
this form of policing is difficult to track in numerical databases. And so these
intangible services cannot be adequately quantified in this report. The
department’s volume of calls for service, however, is easily accessed and
indicates a 30-percent increase between 1997 and 2006 (see Appendix). Calls for
Page 8 of 33
service represent the number of occasions an officer is dispatched to a call or
becomes involved in an incident or enforcement action.
The Committee also wishes to acknowledge that any increases in responsibility
and procedure may reduce the availability of officers for officer-initiated
activities, such as traffic stops and patrolling neighborhoods.
In fact, officer-initiated activity declined as a result of this new workload between
2000 and 2006. As a result, the City witnessed a 32-percent drop in the classic
officer-initiated activity of traffic stops, including a resultant decline in OUI
4739 4847 4723
2000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
200 182 181
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Page 9 of 33
Today’s police officer must be able to meet new demands. The bar is being raised.
And officers are increasingly being held to higher standards. Statutory and
procedural changes reflect new ways in which the department does business now.
And many of these changes place more responsibility on the department and on
Another symptom of the increased workload appears to be an increase in the time
it takes to respond to calls for service. The Committee compared data compiled
between 2002 and 2005. The following call types we examined.
CALL TYPE 2002 2005 (Avg. on-scene times)
Alarms 5’-49‖ 9’-50‖
Assault (w/ injury) 2’-23‖ 8’-50‖
Domestic Assaults 1’-53‖ 7’-2‖
Harassment Reports 2-54‖ 22’-51‖
Nearly half of all officers departing small agencies and about
a quarter of those leaving large agencies go on to other law
Many of these changes directly affect the amount of time required for an officer to
respond to each call. For example, an officer may now require between one-and-
a-half to two-and-a-half hours to complete an OUI arrest. Officers now
responding to a domestic complaint no longer merely mediate the situation or
separate the parties and move on. Maine’s homicides are statistically tied to
domestic violence. Therefore, officers spend increasing amounts of time
following up with victims and pursuing ―conditions‖ increasingly placed on the
defendants by the law courts.
Many arrests are now mandatory.
The State is also requiring new levels of compliance at the local level. The City
now complies with an array of laws that govern sex offender registration. And
those laws are constantly changing. In 2005, thirteen registered sex offenders
lived in our community. South Portland police now track and register up to 40
sex offenders. One detective is assigned the task of maintaining the sex offender
database, as well as completing background checks on all of those who must
Page 10 of 33
register. These are mandatory requirements, deemed necessary to protect our
Patrol officers no longer merely take reports in the field. Increasingly, they
follow up; they investigate. Which means that officers are rarely available to
patrol and provide a constant presence in our community.
The South Portland Police Department responds to more calls with fewer officers
compared to our neighbors.
The following information provides comparative data for workload and force
strength of neighboring and / or demographically comparative communities:
Department Population Calls for Service (2005) Sworn / Civilian Staff
Portland 64,000 69,482 167 / 62
Lewiston 36,237 41,706 84 / 13
Bangor 31,956 Not Provided 76 / 19
Portsmouth, NH 20,674 41,514 69 / 25
Burlington, MA 23,945 23,749 62 / 5
Dedham, MA 23,736 13,343 60 / 4
South Portland 23,784 34,865 51 / 5
Auburn 23,559 Not Provided 51 /5
Biddeford 21,263 48,195 49 / 19
Scarborough 17,230 20,282 32 / 12
The hiring process of the City’s police and fire departments is controlled by
municipal ordinance,7 overseen and administered by the Civil Service
Commission. The Civil Service process is rooted in a rich and respected history:
Municipalities formed Commissions in the late 1800s to drive out political
influence in the hiring and promotion of officers.
Today, the Commission remains an integral part of the hiring and promotion
process in South Portland. Commissioners, who are appointed by Councilors for
a five-year term, advertise ―openings‖ in the Police and Fire departments. They
also ensure a fair and thorough hearing for promotions and disciplinary actions.
Candidates who wish to be considered for vacancies in the Police Department
must first submit applications to the Commission, which sets the deadline for
those applications. Applicants then complete the following:
Chapter 19, Personnel Rules and Regulations, Code of Ordinances, City of South Portland.
Page 11 of 33
1. A standardized, 100-question, multiple choice examination. This exam is
provided by an outside firm. A passing score (generally established by the
commission at 60% or 70%) is required for continuation in the process.
2. The Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s Physical Fitness evaluation. This
evaluation must be completed at the academy’s entrance standard (40th
percentile). This component is “pass or fail.” Applicants perform push-
ups, a one-minute sit-up test, and a 1.5 mile run. Each category is
adjusted for age and gender, based on national standards. Officers may
either complete the testing when it is offered by the Civil Service
Commission or they may show evidence of a successful completion of the
evaluation within the past six months.8 South Portland uses this
evaluation because it is required for entrance into the Maine Criminal
3. An oral interview, performed and scored by the Commission.
4. A background check to determine suitability for police employment.
Applicants may be disqualified for a variety of reasons, including illegal
use of narcotics, drugs, or excessive use of alcohol, a felony or certain
misdemeanor convictions, or a false statement during the application
process. Based upon this background investigation, the Police Chief may
request removal of a candidate.
The Commission then evaluates the applicants, ranks them in order of
performance, and creates a register of all eligible candidates.
The Commission then provides that register to the City Manager and a copy to the
Police Chief. The Chief may then choose from the top three applicants for the
first open position. Commissioners provide two additional applicants for each
additional vacancy. For example, Commissioners will provide the City Manager
and a copy to the Chief with five ranking applicants if the department wishes to
fill two positions; seven to fill three positions.
The Police Chief then convenes a panel from within his department to interview
the top candidates. The Chief will offer the position to a candidate if, and only if,
that candidate can successfully complete the following:
a. MCJA ALERT examination
b. Background Investigation
c. Polygraph Evaluation
d. Job Assessment Testing
e. Medical evaluation / physical
f. MCJA pre-academy physical fitness evaluation
The evaluation is offered monthly at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
Page 12 of 33
An illustration: In an application process during the fall of 2007, twenty-three
candidates applied to be police officer in South Portland. Sixteen of these
applicants arrived to take the written exam. Twelve passed the test. Five of these
successfully passed the physical component. Background investigations
eliminated one candidate, leaving four finalists for consideration.
Successful candidates are enrolled at the Academy. From the time an applicant is
offered conditional employment—and has completed all the appropriate steps
required for full employment at the department—that applicant receives salary
and benefits. By finding meaningful employment for the candidate for the
weeks—even months—prior to a seat at the Academy, the department in essence
captures this candidate and begins the inculcation into department procedure and
protects the conditional employment status from outside offers.
New police officers must then complete a year-long ―working test‖ in the field.
Permanent appointments are made only at the successful completion of this
Recommendation: Streamline hiring process to attract and hire qualified
Explanation: Regionally—and nationwide—competition is heating up to attract
and hire qualified candidates. Eliminating obstacles in the hiring process is
crucial to identify and attract those candidates before competing agencies make
offers of employment. The Committee wishes to recognize the Commission for
its service to the City and thank members for moving quickly to streamline the
process—even before this committee reported to the City Council. The
Commission is now eliminating two full days of testing, conducting three phases
in a single day. The City is now able to accommodate applicants who travel long
distances to take South Portland’s entrance exam.
The department itself is also proactively taking steps
to streamline the process. Background investigations,
which once took months to complete are now being
trimmed down to one week. The department now Nationwide, the average
conducts initial background checks on all applicants. length of an officer's
In-depth background checks are completed only after employment is 34 months
a conditional offer of employment is made.
Page 13 of 33
The hiring process must also allow for administrative flexibility. To that end, the
committee recognizes that a number of departments—indeed most police agencies
in the State of Maine—offer employment to seasoned officers through a process
known as lateral entry. This process allows police administrators and Civil
Service Commissioners the flexibility they need to offer employment to proven,
experienced officers, who, in turn, are able to transfer their skills to a position
comparable to their level of experience.
The committee examined two major components of lateral entry:
Typically, departments will waive a limited number of tests and exercises for
certified police officers,9 so-called ―blue-pin‖ officers.
Officers in one agency, hired by another through the process of lateral entry, may
enter the hiring police force at a higher pay grade.
Historically, when the pool of eligible applicants is plentiful, so too is the
agency’s battery of tests and requirements for sworn officers in transition.
Today, however, pension systems are portable across most municipalities in
Maine. And many departments now offer sworn officers competitive
compensation to attract employees with valuable skills and training.
The South Portland Police Department is one of the few competing agencies in
Maine that does not offer lateral entry. While the City’s Civil Service hiring
ordinance currently allows a seven-point advantage to blue-pin officers who
apply, the current hiring process generally treats all applicants equally—though
clearly there are times and circumstances when hiring an experienced officer over
an eligible, untrained applicant is advantageous.
The Civil Service Commission is aware of this committee’s work and we expect
Commissioners to propose changes in the process to allow lateral entry. The
South Portland Police Patrolmen’s Association (SPPPA), the bargaining unit for
the patrol officers, recently signed a Tentative Agreement with the City. That
agreement allows experienced officers entering the South Portland Police
Department the ability to start up to the ―five-year‖ pay step, dependent upon
An officer who has graduated from and / or been certified by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
Page 14 of 33
Recommendation: Change ordinance language to allow lateral entry and ability
to start at higher pay steps.
Explanation: Lateral entry allows the City to capture the value and training of an
experienced officer at minimal cost. It also allows the department an opportunity
to fill vacancies immediately at a time when competition for any officer is fierce.
South Portland police officers now work five eight-hour shifts, with two
consecutive days off. Several communities in Maine now offer four ten-hour
shifts. This committee considers scheduling an important factor in attracting,
hiring, and retaining good officers. The department’s schedule is the result of
collective bargaining agreements between the City of South Portland and the
South Portland Police bargaining units.
By the nature of the vocation, police officers expect to work or be available on
nights, weekends and holidays. All department personnel currently work a ―5/8‖
work week (five 8-hour work days), with two consecutive days off. Assignments
are ―fixed,‖ determined by the seniority of each officer. Each officer submits a
bid for the shifts they prefer. This is performed annually. Generally, senior
officers bid for—and receive—day shifts. More junior officers work the evening
and overnight shifts. Some of these junior officers have been assigned overnight
shifts for years.
The department’s Patrol and Community Services Division is broken into five
patrol teams, lettered ―A‖ through ―E.‖ Patrol teams A and B are both assigned to
the dayshift (7AM to 3PM), with separate days off to allow the best possible
coverage. C Team covers the second shift (3PM to 11PM) five days a week. E
Team covers the third shift (11PM to 7AM) five days a week. D Team is a
―swing‖ team, covering days off for C and E Teams. In other words, D Team
works three ―second‖ shifts and two ―third‖ shifts before going on days off.
Each patrol team also rotates through three sets of days off, which results in each
team receiving weekends off every nine months. Most teams take off Monday /
Tuesday, Thursday / Friday, or Saturday / Sunday. E Team rotates through
Tuesday / Wednesday, Thursday / Friday or Saturday / Sunday. Days off remain
constant for three months and rotate on the first Mondays of January, April, July
Page 15 of 33
The department’s Investigative and Support Service Division works a more
standard daytime schedule. All members are on call for duty on any day and at
any hour. Officers become eligible for specialty assignments after two years on
the force. Once assigned, officers are reassigned if: 1) they request a transfer, 2)
the position is been eliminated, 3) their job performance is unsatisfactory, or 4)
the Chief deems it in the ―best interest‖ of the department.
Departments in other municipalities offer schedules which differ dramatically
from our own. Some departments rotate shifts weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly.
Some assign shifts based on seniority. Others do not. Clearly, there is no
schedule that will work for all employees—or even all police departments. For
purposes of discussion, the committee considered a 4/10 schedule. Departments
that currently offer 4/10 schedules, such as Augusta, Cumberland, Gorham, and
Westbrook, were contacted and asked for feedback. Commanders at those
1. That the employees working the schedule were very happy.
2. The schedule offered increased / better coverage. Due to six hours of
overlap every day, there were not any gaps in coverage at shift changes
and more officers were available on the street at key times of the day or
3. Schedule allows for double staffing days, which facilitates scheduling of
on-duty training, or allows additional staff for special details or
4. Overlapping shifts may reduce overtime exposure, as an open shift may
only need to be filled for four or six hours, instead of eight or ten hours.
1. Schedule requires additional staff.
2. Schedule may reduce communication with employees, due to additional
weekly day off.
3. Could increase overtime exposure.
South Portland police officers were asked if they would prefer a 4/10 schedule.
Twenty-six of the thirty-eight respondents indicated that they would be interested
in exploring this option. Although there are several options, the 4/10 scheduling
option that was discussed would require six patrol teams, each consisting of five
officers. For South Portland, this would require the promotion of a sixth Patrol
Page 16 of 33
Sergeant and a minimum authorized strength of 54 sworn officers, which falls
within the Police Chief’s recommendation of 56 sworn officers.
The committee notes that South Portland officers have already considered several
other schedules, including so-called ―4/10s,‖10 ―4/2s,‖11 or even 12-hour shift
Eighty-four percent of the agencies
report an average length of stay less
than three years
Recommendation: Allow flexibility for scheduling options.
Explanation: Allowing administrators the flexibility to explore new scheduling
options gives them the tools required to create a niche in this highly completive
market for sworn officers and qualified police candidates. Many officers prefer a
condensed schedule of four days on and three days off. Such a schedule allows
for longer spans of personal time. The flexibility to reorganize existing schedules
gives administrators a powerful tool to track and respond to changes in the
Discussion: Money is clearly at the heart of hiring and retaining a highly-
motivated police force. This committee, therefore, recognizes that compensation
is a material factor in any equation to build and maintain a dynamic and highly-
trained department. However, members wish to note that it is also one of many
factors that attract and retain good officers. Variety of duties, levels of direct
supervision and esprit de corp are all reasons some candidates choose respective
police forces when seeking employment.
The committee examined a number of compensation packages both statewide and
locally. Locally, our compensation package is below average. Many small
communities, which offer less training opportunities, as well as fewer varieties of
police calls and service, often pay more to attract new officers.
Committee members polled South Portland police officers to determine what ratio
of pay to benefits employees are interested in. The result is that pay is an
important component in attracting new recruits, while benefits for retirement play
a more important role in retaining officers and attracting candidates through the
lateral hiring process. Whereas, the majority of officers indicate that ―retirement‖
Four,10-hour days followed by three days off
Four 8 hour days followed by two days off
A rotation of four 12-hour days followed by three days off then three 12-hour days followed by four days off
Page 17 of 33
is the most important consideration in a compensation package, the committee
also notes that the majority of the police force is composed of senior officers. To
summarize: Young officers are often more interested in cash benefits; senior
officers look to the benefits of health and retirement.
The committee therefore recognizes that setting compensation requires a number
of considerations and factors. For example, the City Council must consider the
entire City budget when setting the tax rate; police unions bargain for changes in
salary and benefits every three years; and those communities from which we
derive salaries for comparative purposes in this report, may, in turn, be forced to
change those salaries and benefits to accommodate new demands in new budgets.
Therefore, the committee is recommending that the City Manager annually
examine and compare compensation packages of neighboring communities—and
the economic forces driving those municipalities year to year. The City Manager
should exercise judgment while comparing communities and should consider such
factors as population, geographical location, ratio of commercial to residential
property, and other demographic characteristics.
Recommendation: Resolve to offer competitive salary and benefits. The City
Manager should review salaries and benefit packages annually and compare these
results to salaries in other communities. The City Council may then consider
these results as a material factor in preparation for the annual budget. Results
may also be considered for the purposes of collective bargaining between the City
Explanation: Compensation is a material factor in hiring and retaining a highly-
trained, highly-motivated police force. The City Council should attempt to
examine a number of data when comparing salary and benefits of other
Common Barriers to Recruiting:
Recruitment by other criminal justice
agencies (80.6 percent)
Agency budget restrictions (72.6
Agency size (37.9 percent)
Private Sector Competition (34.7
Page 18 of 33
The committee finds that City of South Portland is, indeed, facing a crisis in
attracting, hiring, retaining—and thus expanding the number of—police officers,
and that steps can be taken to reduce this outflow and remain competitive in our
staffing and retention.
The first step is to hire three new officers by 2010. The Council authorized the
hiring of two new officers in 2008. This will move the department towards a
―five-car‖ force, a dramatic increase in available officers to respond to new and
diverse emergency calls. The committee believes that this orderly transition to a
larger force is good policy, both necessary to maintain public safety—and is
The committee also recommends that the City Council resolve to offer
competitive salary and benefits within the department. Since compensation is
clearly a material factor in hiring and retaining a highly-trained, highly-qualified
police force, staying abreast of the competition is therefore key to maintaining an
attractive program for junior and senior officers.
Another important step is to streamline the hiring process to identify and attract
qualified candidates. The process for hiring new officers is cumbersome and
riddled with obstacles. Eliminating those obstacles and allowing for lateral entry
within the hiring process will give the department both flexibility and speed to
offer employment, two factors that an agency now requires in this competitive
market for qualified candidates.
Finally, the committee recommends giving administrators the tools they need to
allow flexibility for scheduling options. Freeing up options for new scheduling is
both cost effective and a creative method for exploring gaps in the current
Page 19 of 33
Page 20 of 33
SOUTH PORTLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT
CHIEF OF POLICE
Office of Professional Standards
Investigative & Support Services Division Patrol & Community Services Division
Deputy Chief of Police
Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant
Detective Sergeant Dispatch Civilian A/B Team C Team Sergeant D Team Sergeant E Team Sergeant
Coordinator Personnel Sergeant
Detectives Communication Admin. Secretary A/B Team Officers C Team Officers
MDEA SROs Mall Officer D Team Officers
Court Officer Lead Dispatchers Records ACO SE Unit E Team Officers
Youth Aid Bomb K9 Team K-9 Team K9 Team
Evidence/Property Dispatchers Maintenance
Page 21 of 33
South Portland Police Job Announcement
CITY OF SOUTH PORTLAND
Progressive department on the Southern Maine Coast
looking for qualified, motivated, career-oriented
individuals. Position offers: competitive wages,
educational and fitness incentives, employee and family
medical health coverage, Maine State Retirement,
Deferred Compensation Plan and Social Security, annual
clothing allowance. Interested candidates must be at
least 20 years old on the date of the written examination
to be eligible to take the examination, hold a valid
operator’s license and be a high school graduate or
equivalent. Criminal Background Check, Polygraph
Examination, Job Performance Examination plus other
testing will be conducted.
Applications may be obtained from:
City of South Portland
Human Resource Office, Rm. 105
25 Cottage Road, P. O. Box 9422
South Portland, ME 04116-9422
or online at:
Applications must be received by February 16, 2007 at
4:00 P.M. All applicants will take a written examination
on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 6:00 P.M. at the
Memorial Middle School, Wescott Rd., South Portland,
Chairman Robert Schwartz,
Civil Service Commission
Equal Opportunity Employer
Page 22 of 33
Nighttime Population: City of South Portland
23400 23267 23324
1970 1980 1990 2000 2006
Housing Units: City of South Portland
1970 1980 1990 2000
Source: U.S. Census
Page 23 of 33
Average Annual Daily Traffic Flow
I-295NB off I-295SB off I-295NB on I-295SB off Maine Mall Running Hill Cummings Western Ave Gorham
Ramp to US Ramp to US Ramp from Ramp to RD and Rd and Rd and Maine Road
1 1 Westbrook Westbrook Philbrook Av Cummings Mall Rd andWestern
St St Rd Ave
Page 24 of 33
DEPARTMENT ACTIVITY / CRIME STATISTICS
SPPD Calls for Service
34588 34865 33625
35000 31193 31609
1997 2000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Mutual Aid Assistance
Calls for Service where Cape Elizabeth, Portland and/or Scarborough responded
2002 2003 2004 2005
Page 25 of 33
Robbery 2002 – 2006
14 13 13
Weapon Violations 2002 - 2006
12 (Concealing/ Possessing firearms, dangerous knives, clubs, etc.)
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
(Concealing/ Possessing firearms, dangerous knives, clubs, etc.)
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Page 26 of 33
Sex Crimes 2002 - 2006
(G.S.A., Unlawful Sexual Contact etc.)
25 23 23
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Page 27 of 33
Value of Property Stolen
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Page 28 of 33
All Other Criminal Offense Reports
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Arrests / Summonses
1950 1917 1919
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Page 29 of 33
Assaults on South Portland Police Officers
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
South Portland Police Officer Uses of Physical Force
120 115 113
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Page 30 of 33
Sworn South Portland Police Personnel
1975 1985 1990 1995 2000 2006
Page 31 of 33
COMPETITIVE WAGE / BENEFIT SURVEY (2007)
Police Departments (Benefit Survey) –
2007 (Sorted by Starting Pay – Highest to Lowest)
Department Pay 3-5 Years 10 Years 20 Years Retirement l Fam Health Dental
Employee % %
$43,326.4 $48,630.4 $52,395.2 $58,094.4
York County SO 0 0 0 0 50% + ICMA Yes $45to100/wk 100% 20yr/50%
Gorham 8 2 n/a n/a 50% + ICMA Yes 10% town rate pension on horizon
$40,310.4 $45,094.4 $48,068.8 $51,022.4
Biddeford 0 0 0 0 2/3 pension Yes 20% 100% Health @ retirement
$39,540.0 $44,448.0 $45,320.0 $47,062.0
Saco 0 0 0 0 50% + ICMA Yes 10% $325
$38,576.7 $42,937.4 $47,338.7 $53,250.0
Scarborough 2 4 2 8 ICMA Yes see 1 below 50%
$38,477.9 $45,788.6 $47,217.0
Cape Elizabeth 2 0 4 n/a ICMA Yes 20%
Maine State $36,050.0 $42,966.0 $46,618.0
Police 0 0 0 n/a 50% + Health No 40% 100% Health @ retirement
$35,724.0 $40,560.0 $44,044.0 $47,736.0
Yarmouth 0 0 0 0 50% + ICMA Yes 12% 100%
$35,604.0 $42,466.0 $44,040.0
Wells 0 0 0 n/a 2/3 + ICMA Yes $20/week 0%
$32,998.0 $39,652.6 $42,073.7 $42,352.0
Westbrook 0 0 2 0 50%(20year) Yes 15% 100%
$31,740.8 $40,310.4 $42,161.6 $43,929.6
South Portland 0 0 0 0 50% + ICMA No 18% 0
$31,532.8 $38,708.8 $40,622.4
Bath 0 0 0 n/a 2/3 pension 15% 0
Topsham 2 6 n/a n/a 2/3 pension Yes 15% 85%
$31,044.0 $39,104.0 $41,912.0 $44,356.0
Portland 0 0 0 0 50% + ICMA Yes 30% 0
1 SPD will pay 100% of single plan, plus 50% of difference between single and family plan
Page 32 of 33
National Law Enforcement Benefit Stats (2004-2005) Compared to SPPD:
National Averages SPPD
Starting Officer Pay: $36,048 $31,741
Top Officer Pay: $51,048 $43,930
Employer Family Health %: 83.58% 82%
Retiree Health Insurance %: 86% 0
4% to 8%
Employer Retirement Contribution: 11.89% (MSRS/457)
Employee Retirement Contribution: 5.54% 6.5% to 18% (MSRS/457)
Page 33 of 33
"Innovations in Police Recruitment and Hiring: Hiring in the Spirit of Service" Ellen
Scrivner, Ph.D., U.S. Dept. of Justice, 2001
"Hiring and Retention Issues in Police Agencies: Readings on the Determinants of Police
Strength, Hiring and Retention of Officers, and the Federal Cops Program" Christopher
S. Koper, Edward R. Maguire, and Gretchen Moore, Urban Institute, 2001
"Police Personnel Challenges After September 11: Anticipating Expanded Duties and a
Changing Labor Pool" Barbara Raymond, Laura J. Hickman, Laura Miller, Jennifer S.
Wong, Rand Corporation, 2005
Page 34 of 33