Holyoke Police Department

The decision to be made by the Holyoke Police Department (HPD) is indeed a challenging one. The scarcity of the applicant pool and the improving condition of the economy make it difficult to find a new policeman to fill in the position. In a city of 2400+ population, qualified policemen may indeed be hard to find. At this time, the police department faces two distinct options: 1. Continue to try to hire the fourth policeman 2. Split the salary between the other three to allow them to make a more decent living than before.

The first option will produce a better outcome since it will allow the police department to address the population’s needs with greater effectiveness. The increase in the staffing numbers would allow greater concentration of effort in areas where help was most needed, more efficient coverage of the area, and attraction of a more diversified pool of workforce. However, the downside of the option was the difficulty in its implementation.

If new officers could not be found, and the applicant pool was becoming scarce, the Holyoke Police Department cannot reasonably count with a serious and sudden improvement in the situation. In this case, the hiring of the fourth one appears unrealistic. However, the recruiters can try to attract prospective applicants by offering extra incentives: •    Training courses, assistance in getting into police academies, etc. •    Perks like a car, free lunch, and others However, there is no guarantee that a change in recruitment strategy will work.

The second option, splitting of the salary, has both its upside and downside. The most obvious pro is that it will increase the compensation for all the three officers, a moment that the council members can use to remind policemen that they are expected to put in so much work as to replace the one that was never hired. Besides, it will improve their motivation by alerting them to the fact that their efforts are valued and appreciated, and the council is aware of their merits even if their overtime work is not rewarded properly.

In the eyes of the policemen, a pay raise can balance out the overtime work they have to do for free. Finally, it will simply improve their living standards, making their lives more comfortable and freeing up some energy for work. In terms of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the more completely their basic needs are satisfied, the more the policemen will approach a level of the pyramid at which self-actualization becomes the top priority. With a current salary of $1,600, it is clear that even basic needs can be a problem. However, the downside is the temporary nature of the award.

When the grant term expires, policemen are likely to experience a nasty feeling when their salaries get back to $1,600. A drop in compensation levels can be devastating to the employees’ morale. If the department undertakes a commitment to ‘upgrade’ salary levels, the supervisors had better see to it that they find permanent funds to support such a move. In general, the second option seems in any case more desirable because it contributes to employees’ retention. Given the scarcity of applicant pool in the area, the department should pay special attention to the retention of the already employed workforce.

Their advantage over the new applicants in terms of record and experience is undoubted. Salary increases are a way to reduce the attraction of switching to a new job in a new area. The three police officers can be the minimum number sufficient for survival of a small police department. Therefore, the administration should use salary increases and splitting of the grant money as a retention measure.


The University of Georgia. (n. d. ). Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs. Retrieved August 3, 2006, from http://www. arches. uga. edu/~danni/maslow. htm