Faced with a flood of departures and a trickle of recruits entering its training academy that have led to dwindling staffing levels, LAPD officials have drawn up plans that call for as many as 200 retired police officers to be rehired.
Known informally as the “bounce program,” it allows the chief of police to bring retired officers back for up to a year. It typically has been used sparingly in the past to recall an individual officer whose specialized skill sets make them hard to replace, such as a homicide detective who retired while working a case that might otherwise fall without their involvement, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Now, however, the department wants to use the strategy on a wholesale level to hire back dozens of officers.
The ideal candidates would have retired or resigned within the past six months and left the department in good standing, Chief Michel Moore said. Only those who are up to date with the various training certifications required to serve would be eligible to return. Officers would be paid the salary they had when they left but wouldn’t receive vacation time or any health, disability and retirement benefits, he said.
Under the terms of the bounce program, officers who return to duty would continue to collect pension payments while also earning a paycheck.
Many question whether the stop-gap measure to rehire retirees will work for the LAPD.
The retired LAPD officer and conservative columnist who writes under the pen name Jack Dunphy believes he knows the answer to that question.
"I can predict with confidence the effort will fall short of its aims. Morale in the LAPD has never been lower, and most officers within sight of retirement are counting the days as a prisoner would to his release date. Having once escaped the disaster the department has become, who in his right mind would return to it?" he wrote in a PJ Media column.