Saturday January 31, 2009
1 a.m. - 1 p.m.
115 Perimeter Center Place, Dunwoody 30346
Dunwoody could hire the first of its 29 patrol officers in the next two weeks, making good on its pledge to have a force ready to hit the streets April 1 in part because of a generous benefits package.
A total of 26 candidates have started the multi-stage interview process, with 10 ready for the last step of interviewing with Police Chief Billy Grogan. Even more candidates are expected to emerge with the city council’s approval last week of the benefits package — which includes a $2,000 signing bonus - and a job fair being held Saturday.
“We want the best, and we want to make it easy for them to come to our force,” Grogan said.
Having a local police force was a driving force for many residents who voted last year to make Dunwoody Georgia’s newest city. More than 40 percent of the city’s $14.4 million budget will pay for 48 positions, 40 take-home police cars, other equipment and benefits.
Averages salaries will be $70,000 for three lieutenants, $58,000 for six sergeants; and $46,000 for patrol officers. The benefits package includes:
• Fully paid medical insurance.
• A retirement program that includes city contribution of 10 percent of the worker’s salary.
• $2,000 yearly tuition reimbursement.
• $300 monthly housing subsidy, for up to three years, to live in the city limits.
Mayor Ken Wright admitted the package was top-notch, especially in tough economic times. However, he said it falls within the planned budget and will help the city meet its aggressive goal for standing up its department.
“If we’re trying to attract the finest out there, and quickly, that’s a very important piece of getting that,” Wright said. “It’s a good package, to be sure, but it’s not crazy.”
Dunwoody plans to hire only experienced and certified officers for its force. Grogan said applicants so far have between two and 10 years of experience. Most of them are from the metro Atlanta area.
Saturday’s job fair in Atlanta is designed to appeal to cops like that, who have been curious but have not applied. The event will feature a question and answer session as well as a presentation of equipment, such as the Glock .45 caliber and stun guns that officers will use.
Grogan said he will explain his vision for the force that focuses on community policing and partnerships with local groups, as another way to draw out the best candidates.
“We want to attract good employees who are otherwise happy where they are and give them a good reason to partner with us,” he said.