Become an Officer, Get a Canoe

The Ely Police Department, in Minnesota, is offering $3,800 worth of canoe and gear as a recruitment incentive.

The Ely Police Department, in Minnesota, is offering $3,800 worth of canoe and gear as a recruitment incentive.The Ely Police Department, in Minnesota, is offering $3,800 worth of canoe and gear as a recruitment incentive.Ely Police Department

Police departments across the country are deploying a variety of offers and bonuses to recruit officers, however, one small Minnesota department is trying something a little different. Become one of its officers, and you get a canoe.

The Ely Police Department only has seven full-time officers and one administrative assistant. The town is located along Shagawa Lake in an area known for the state’s Boundary Waters.

Any new officer hired by the department will receive a Kevlar canoe, two paddles, and two life jackets. That paddling package is a $3,800 package.

The offer applies to both new officers and experienced officers, but they must be P.O.S.T. certified or eligible for certification when they are hired. A social media recruiting post by the department encourages lateral officers to apply.

The Ely officers work four consecutive 12-hour shifts, followed by four days off. According to the department, the 2024 pay range is $30.85 per hour to $34.88 per hour with a 4%-night-shift differential. The recruiting message also says the department offers “excellent” benefits.

“Ely provides unique opportunities for recreation, culture, and work not often seen in a city of its size. Ely continues to offer an excellent quality of life to residents of the region. We strive to maintain our outstanding educational opportunities, a full range of medical services, exceptional outdoor experiences, and unequaled sense of community spirit,” the Ely Police Department says in its message.

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