Gov. Lee Announces Additional Support for Local Law Enforcement Recruitment

Funding to boost officer recruitment bonuses, basic training
Friday, October 14, 2022 | 08:31am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced two additional resources to support local law enforcement agencies in officer recruitment and training, following the recent launch of the $100 million Violent Crime Intervention Fund and continued Proven Crime Prevention investments.

“To stay ahead of the nationwide spike in crime, Tennessee is taking every step to recruit, train and retain highly-qualified law enforcement officers to keep our communities safe,” said Lee. “I commend police departments and sheriff’s offices for their continued partnership, and I’m confident these additional measures will strengthen public safety and relieve financial burdens for local law enforcement agencies.”

 “Providing law enforcement with the best training available is what Tennessee citizens expect, and it is what we go to work every day to provide,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Carter Lawrence. "Governor Lee's bold, visionary plan for training and recruitment will help provide quality training for more local recruits at Tennessee's premier law enforcement training academy without impacting the bottom line of Tennessee’s local governments."

The state’s Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget includes resources managed by the Department of Commerce & Insurance to directly support local law enforcement agencies in increasing capacity and offsetting local costs:

$24 Million to Support Basic Training

Every Tennessee local law enforcement agency is now eligible to receive funding to cover the local share of training costs for new officers, including paid Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA) tuition, training uniforms and additional professional development expenses.

This investment will provide 12-week officer training and save local law enforcement more than $3,000 per new officer. TLETA graduated the first class of officers through the program on September 30, including 110 officers from 61 agencies.

$30 Million in Recruitment Bonuses

Tennessee will dedicate $30 million to support recruitment and retention bonuses for newly hired police officers. The program will provide bonuses to more than 3,000 officers.

Bonuses will be dispersed in early 2023 following the rulemaking process.

In addition to strong recruitment and training supports, Lee has made the following Proven Crime Prevention investments to strengthen public safety and directly support law enforcement across Tennessee:

·       100 additional Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers funded by the state

·       Increased the frequency of training for new recruits and transfers from out-of-state to get law enforcement officers on the job faster

·       Creation of a statewide network of Correctional Officer training programs in partnership with TCATs and Community Colleges

·       More than $4 million in professional development programs for local correctional officers

·       More than $25 million in Evidence Based Programming grants for local jails to start and operate proven crime and recidivism reduction programs for inmates