Post Content

NEW: Fairfax County police ups ad spending to bolster recruitment

Fairfax County police cruiser during traffic stop (via FCPD/Facebook)

(Updated at 5 p.m.) The Fairfax County Police Department has turned to advertising to help address vacancies.

The department has signed a contract with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Epic Recruiting to deliver digital marketing services and materials. Operational expenses for police recruiting have already more than quadrupled this budget year.

“We continue to look for the best candidates to serve Fairfax County,” the FCPD said in a statement. “If you or anyone you know is interested in learning about all our department has to offer, please visit www.joinfcpd.org or contact a recruiter today at FCPDRecruit@fairfaxcounty.gov.”

According to county staff, the FCPD’s recruitment-related operating expenses were in the low $40,000s for fiscal years 2019 and 2020, rose to nearly $66,000 in FY 2021, and have exceeded $272,000 for the current fiscal year 2022, which ends on June 30.

Details of the contract were released after this story published through a public-records request, showing that the $200,000 contract includes $65,000 for a 12-month online recruiting campaign, $65,000 for video and photography work, $35,000 for a recruitment website, and more.

As of April 13, the department had 151 vacancies and 1,333 sworn officers. It said its recruiters continue to host and participate in hiring events throughout the county and are adapting and developing new and innovative ways to reach applicants.

The FCPD initially declined to comment on the contract, saying it’s not complete so there aren’t any measurable results at this point.

Epic Recruiting Chief Creative Officer Alex Johnston said his company has been working with FCPD for about a month, finding compelling stories about Fairfax County police to showcase in digital advertising. The business is slated to start filming for ads in coming weeks, though it might take two months before they launch.

According to Johnston, the Tracy Police Department in California, near Sacramento, eliminated an 18% vacancy rate in four months after Epic ran an ad campaign, noting that it was coupled with other city-led efforts, such as a $1,000 referral bonus.

“These progressive agencies are the ones that are getting ahead of this,” Johnston said of police vacancies.

The FCPD’s recruitment levels have fluctuated over the past half-decade, from a high of 73 new sworn officers in 2019 to a low of 59 in 2020. The department is projected to add 60 sworn officers this year, down from 95 in 2021, and 71 in 2023, county staff told Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity.

“Until we fix the compensation issues and are competitive in compensation, we’re going to continue to struggle,” said Herrity, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ lone Republican member. “You can recruit all you want. You’re not going to retain them if you don’t compensate them.”

He said he doesn’t necessarily disagree with the recruiting strategy, saying the county has to be more creative, but the spending sounded a little bit high to him.

With a pre-markup meeting set for today (Friday) at 3 p.m., the board plans to set aside $6.1 million for a step increase for qualified uniformed public safety workers, including police, the sheriff’s office, and firefighters who were hired on or before June 30, 2021, according to a budget document.

He previously proposed 10% raises for various police officers and said he thinks there needs to be more spent than the $6.1 million currently on the table.

Meanwhile, total personnel costs related to recruitment have climbed from nearly $365,000 in fiscal year 2021 to almost $581,000 this year, as of March 31. The FCPD is on track to reach $735,000 at the end of this fiscal year and plans to spend over $758,000 in the upcoming budget year, which starts on July 1.

Photo via FCPD/Facebook

Recent Stories

A 5 BD/3.5 BA brick home with a stone gas fireplace and garden patio is included in Open Houses.

The weekend is almost here. Before the remnants of Hurricane Ian arrive or you head to bed for some much-needed sleep, let’s revisit the past week of news in Fairfax…

One of the oldest neighborhoods in southeastern Fairfax County is holding its birthday party this weekend, despite the likelihood of rain. Jefferson Manor near Groveton is celebrating its 75th birthday…

The general public’s last chance to weigh in on Fairfax County’s ongoing study of the bicycle and pedestrian network in the West Falls Church Metro station area will come later…

Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.

Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.

Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.

Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Ending your marriage and living in the shadows of its pain is one thing, but when children (2 and 4 legged ones) are involved it’s not only about you. Divorce Mediation is the way to resolve the past and establish a solid, cooperative foundation to reorganize the relationship with your former partner. Everyone involved will benefit and you will gain peace-of-mind. Divorce Mediation is the cost effective way to negotiate your divorce and sign a Separation Agreement that is equitable and fair. 

Walid Jawad will facilitate the divorce process in a calm and thoughtful manner to help you establish the foundation for your next phase in life.  Walid’s 5-Star google reviews is a testament to his dedication to limiting divorcing couples’ stress during this intense transitional period.

Mediate your divorce virtually from the convenience of your kitchen table for $1,200 and save yourself the average Virginia cost of $15,000 per divorce and $22,000 with children. Make a complimentary appointment with Walid at Aether Mediation here: www.aethermediation.com

Submit your own Community Post here.

Rescue Reston’s 10th Anniversary Rally for Open Space

Join us on Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 1 pm to 3 pm where it all began in 2012 at the Hartke Building parking lot. We coalesced around a common vision, and purpose and have moved forward with unwavering community

Reston Home Tour

Reston Museum’s 20th Reston Home Tour features homes include an award-winning modern masterpiece tucked back in a wooded oasis, a beautifully-landscaped personal “club house” offering amazing views of the golf course, a newly-renovated Reston Town Center townhouse with a water

×

Subscribe to our mailing list