RIVERSIDE – The Board of Supervisors today authorized the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to spend more than a quarter-million dollars annually on recruitment-related advertising, as the agency seeks to fill 400 positions.
The board voted 4-0, with Supervisor John Tavaglione out sick, in favor of the sheriff buying billboard and kiosk space to attract prospects from Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as Arizona and Nevada.
According to sheriff’s documents, the goal is to attract 40,000 applicants to give the department a greater recruitment pool from which to choose.
”Due to the department’s stringent background review process and requirements, we are only hiring 1 percent of prospective applicants,” according to sheriff’s documents. ”Hiring such a large number of employees will require large-scale outdoor advertising in a number of mediums in several markets.”
The sheriff proposes spending up to $738,000 between now and June 30, 2016. Approximately $168,000 may be allocated for advertising in the current fiscal year, while as much as $285,000 could be budgeted for fiscal year 2014- 15 and another $285,000 for fiscal year 2015-16.
According to sheriff’s officials, most of the jobs the department needs to fill will be located at the future East County Detention Center in Indio. The county recently broke ground for the new facility, which is slated for completion in late 2016, replacing the 350-bed Indio Jail with one providing enough space for 1,300.
The sheriff’s department is seeking to secure billboard space owned by CBS Outdoor, General Outdoor Advertising and Lamar Companies. The agency also intends to buy panels on kiosks managed by AdCamp Inc., which offers advertising opportunities on the Cal Poly Pomona, Los Angeles Valley College, Golden West College, Riverside City College and Victor Valley College campuses.
”Applicants who are seeking college degrees are highly desirable,” according to the sheriff’s documents. ”It is hoped that enough citizens of a certain age group and background will see the advertising and apply for a position with the sheriff’s department.”
According to the agency, monthly rates for billboard space will range between $750 and $2,000, though digital billboards could run as high as $5,000, while monthly costs to reserve kiosk space will come to about $415 per panel.