The Santa Maria Police Department is delivering a message for people who drive into the city on southbound Highway 101.
“We are recruiting officers and other positions within the Santa Maria Police Department,” said Sgt. Terry Flaa.
On Wednesday, the police department began to publicly advertise its open positions with the unveiling of a new billboard.
Located on a hillside in south Nipomo along Thompson Ave., the sign is the SMPD’s new tool for recruitment.
“Our hope is that people who are traveling through or even live here notice the billboard and are interested in joining the police department,” said Sgt. Flaa. “Many people come to the Central Coast to visit and often times think, boy, I’d love to live here, so why not see this wonderful billboard that announces a career opportunity within the Santa Maria Police Department.”
Flaa notes the billboard is intended to attract those interested in a variety of positions, including dispatch, records and business services.
However, with no current openings in those positions, Flaa said the sign is particularly designed to recruit new police officers.
“Most of our positions are for police officer,” said Sgt. Flaa. “The numbers are very fluid. They change depending on staffing levels, retirements, new positions being allocated, so we currently have approximately anywhere from six to 10 positions to fill and we do expect and increase in those positions in the near future.”
As it sits on the hillside, the billboard is passed by thousands of motorists and passengers who travel south on Highway 101 each and every day.
The location gives the SMPD high visibility to countless numbers of prospective employees.
“They’re going to know that we’re hiring and actively seeking police officers, or people for the police officer position and we just hope they take that into consideration and they’re applying with us,” said Sgt. Flaa.
The billboard will stay up for six months and won’t be the only form of advertisement the department will use for recruitment.
“We have had an advertisement on the radio announcing our positions. We are currently working on some other recruiting tools, such as a recruitment video, a commercial. Those things not yet available, but will be in the near future,” said Flaa.
According to the City, the signage will cost $10,000. Funding will be paid through salary savings the department has racked up from open positions over the past year.
Anyone interested in a career with the Santa Maria Police Department can visit: http://www.cityofsantamaria.org/city-government/departments/human-resources-employment