Student Debt Assistance for Correctional Officers, Families
TOWSON, MD (July 16, 2018) – As part of Governor Larry Hogan’s college affordability and student debt relief announcement this week, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services today announced that state correctional officers will be eligible for assistance in paying off their student loans or those of a child through the governor’s new SmartWork initiative.
This latest incentive applies to state employees working in specified shortage areas, which includes correctional officers. This is the latest in a series of efforts by the Hogan administration to assist the Department in its ongoing recruitment efforts.
“Once again, Governor Hogan has reaffirmed his commitment to hiring and retaining quality correctional officers,” Department Secretary Stephen T. Moyer said. “We believe this move will go a long way as we confront the national challenge of bringing in and keeping the best and the brightest in a job we believe to be the toughest in law enforcement.”
Public safety agencies across the nation have been facing staff shortages due to multiple factors, including the lowest national unemployment rate in 20 years and a reduction in applicants for public safety jobs.
Other incentives the administration is offering incoming and veteran correctional officers include a $5,000 hiring bonus for new officer recruits who complete the training academy and remain with the department for one year, up to $3,000 in bonus pay for current officers with good performance and attendance, and a $500 bonus for any correctional officer who recommends a successful officer candidate. Earlier this year, Governor Hogan added correctional officers to the state’s Hometown Heroes law, which exempts portion of retirement income from state income taxes.
Find out more about the Hogan administration’s new SmartWork program here.