A public safety department in California is setting up shop in Hawaii.
It’s looking for its next group of potential employees.
Sunnyvale, CA Department of Public Safety is in Honolulu testing applicants and offering a salary of nearly one hundred thousand dollars to bring recruits out to the Golden State.
Over the years, the department in Silicon Valley has recruited more than three dozen people from Hawaii, and it’s hoping the number will continue to grow.
Sunnyvale Public Safety employees are trained to perform police, firefighter, and EMS duties.
The department said recent graduates and members of the military are their target market for recruits.
It’s been a successful recruiting trip almost every time they’ve come back to the islands.
Since 2001, Sunnyvale Public Safety has recruited 38 people from Hawaii.
Lt. Jim Choi is one of them.
“The economy wasn’t doing too well here in Hawaii and the opportunity was just much better in Sunnyvale,” Lt. Choi said.
That was 15 years ago.
Deputy Chief Dayton Pang said 52 people in Hawaii have already applied and will be tested over the next few weeks.
“We’re offering a different location. Something different for the people of Hawaii,” Pang said. “Some of the people are local, some of them aren’t. They’re going to school here or in the military so they’re looking to get back to the mainland.”
We’re told Hawaii’s diversity and the cost to hire employees is why Sunnyvale Public Safety keeps coming back.
“Hawaii is very close to the demographics for the city of Sunnyvale,” Pang said. “When you look at individual cost per employee, it was actually a cost savings for us.”
Last year bringing a new recruit on board in Sunnyvale cost the city about $50,000 but in Hawaii, it’s half the cost at about $24,000.
“I think it just has to do with the numbers. We’re competing against a lot of police departments, a lot of fire departments in California,” Pang said.
Starting pay for public safety employees in Sunnyvale is at $96,000. Starting pay for new officers at the Honolulu Police Department is about $63,000.
Recruits have to pass several tests including a physical, psychological, and polygraph.
“In California, we’ll do that in 4-6 months. Obviously we don’t have that much time so we’ll condense everything and we’ll get the entire testing process done in approximately three and a half weeks,” Pang said.
“As a fully integrated public safety department where you’re both a firefighter and a police officer, there’s no other job like it so if you’re looking for a career that’s challenging and rewarding, Sunnyvale is the place to be,” Choi said.
Applicants must be 21 years old and have 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university. If you’re interested, you can contact Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety at 408-730-7164.