Hiring and relocation bonuses for new East Grand Forks police officers approved by City Council members

With their vote, council members made an amendment to the memorandum of understanding that it will terminate on Dec. 31, 2023. If the department is still in a similar situation with staffing, council members can extend the MOU at that time.

East Grand Forks City Hall
East Grand Forks City Hall. File photo Brandi Jewett/ Grand Forks Herald
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EAST GRAND FORKS – New police officers hired at the East Grand Forks Police Department will receive hiring bonuses and, if applicable, relocation bonuses.

The bonuses come after council members unanimously voted to approve a memorandum of understanding between the city and Law Enforcement Labor Services, Inc., which represents 152 employees of the EGFPD, during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Within the hiring bonuses, new officers are set to receive $2,500, to be paid after successful completion of a background check and after beginning the department’s field training and evaluation program. Another $2,500 will be awarded after the successful completion of the FTEP.

New officers will receive up to $2,500 for a relocation bonus if they’re moving to East Grand Forks from greater than 50 miles away.

The hiring and relocation bonuses have been talked about on a City Council level for months. The EGFPD currently has two open positions.


Among the top concerns council members have voiced about the bonuses in previous meetings is the impact it will have on the city’s budget along with how long the bonuses will be offered. Mayor Steve Gander believes the hiring bonuses are a solution to the ongoing staffing problems.

“This is really a unique remedy to a unique problem,” Gander said. “We’ve agreed that it’s a strange time in law enforcement.”

Gander went on to say that the hiring bonuses should be terminated if staffing gets better by the end of next year.

“That would send a strong signal. This really isn’t intended to be a forever kind of thing that we’re doing as a council,” Gander said.

With their vote, council members made an amendment to the memorandum of understanding that it will terminate on Dec. 31, 2023. If the department is still in a similar situation with staffing, council members can extend the MOU at that time.

Another MOU regarding retention bonuses for current officers will be brought back for council members to review at next week’s Work Session. At last week’s meeting, council members reviewed proposed retention bonuses that would give $3,000 to officers who’ve been at the department for between two to four years, $4,000 for those with the department for five to nine years and $5,000 for those who are with the department for 10 years to retirement.

East Grand Forks City Administrator David Murphy said after the Grand Forks council decision, East Grand Forks council members will need to talk about the next steps moving forward at a future work session meeting

In other news Tuesday, council members:

  • Approved a report of feasibility for street and utility improvements on Fifth Avenue Northeast from 15th Street Northeast to 20th Street Northeast. Repairs include replacing existing broken concrete street panels and sections of concrete curb and gutter along with replacing the catch basin and manhole casting assemblies. The estimated total cost of the projects is $686,469, with $205,940 being assessed to property owners and the rest being funded by Federal Subtarget Funds and State Aid Allocation Dollars.
  • Approved authorizing Widseth to prepare plans and specifications for the LaFave Park project, which will include work being done on the boat ramp, parking area, picnic shelter at the softball fields and on the park access road, including making ADA improvements along that road. The total project cost is estimated to be $1,213,536, with $870,580 coming from the 75% matching grant from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission, and $342,955 coming from a 25% local match.
  • Following the meeting, council members met in a closed meeting to evaluate City Administrator David Murphy’s job performance, an evaluation that is done each year.
Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 701-780-1267 or

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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