TPD: Becoming a Member - Lateral Hire Program
The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) seeks out and highly values candidates who have previous sworn law enforcement experience from other jurisdictions. New hires who have previously worked as law enforcement officers are more likely to successfully complete their probationary period and remain with their new department for many years while taking advantage of transfer and promotional opportunities. At the Tallahassee Police Department individual officer salaries are set by contract and are not negotiable regardless of an officer's prior experience or previous rate of pay, however, in order to attract more experienced candidates, TPD has a lateral hire pay plan.
New police officers who have completed their academy training are paid at Step 1 of the Police Officers/Investigators pay plan. Candidates with previous work experience as a law enforcement officer may be eligible for a starting salary higher than Step 1. TPD's lateral hire pay plan applies to candidates who meet the following prerequisites:
1) Currently certified as a law enforcement officer in the state of Florida, with at least two years' full time sworn experience OR
2) At least two years' full time experience as a sworn law enforcement in another state and/or as a military police officer, AND a passing score on the Florida law enforcement certification exam within the last three years.
Please refer to the above chart for a graphical representation of the program's pay scales.
Military Police experience counts as long as an applicant is not required to attend the complete 24-week academy training course. Qualifying Officers can receive up to 13.5 months of OJT benefits via the GI Bill.
Here are some examples of how the TPD lateral pay plan works:
Applicant A, currently employed at a south Florida sheriff's department, wants to relocate to Tallahassee and become a TPD officer. Applicant A has over 4 years of experience as a deputy sheriff. Applicant A's starting salary at the Tallahassee Police Department would be Step 2.
Applicant B retired from Florida law enforcement after 20 years of service, 18 of them as a detective. After retiring, and prior to her Florida law enforcement certification expiring, Applicant B misses police work and wants to work for a new agency. With a valid certification and well over the 11-year maximum for experience as listed in the lateral hire pay plan, Applicant B is eligible for Step 6 pay at the Tallahassee Police Department.
Applicant C's law enforcement career began in the military. Applicant C's DD-214 indicates that 3 years and 10 months were spent as a Military Police Officer. After leaving the service, Applicant C was a trooper in West Virginia for 3 years and served another 2 and half years as a Georgia Highway Patrol officer. Applicant C then passed Florida's law enforcement certification examination after demonstrating proficiency in Florida law and high-liability training topics. With over 9 years of experience, Applicant C is eligible for Step 5 pay at the Tallahassee Police Department.
Applicant D has just finished six months of police recruit training at an academy out of state. Due to family considerations, Applicant D wishes to move to Florida to continue a law enforcement career. Applicant D is eligible to apply to the Tallahassee Police Department but does not have enough experience to take advantage of the lateral hire pay plan.