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Durham Strategic Plan Dashboard

Shared Economic

Create a Safer Community Together

Connected, Engaged, and Inclusive Communities

Innovative and High Performing Organization

Thriving and Vibrant Environment

Status Indicator: In Progress | On Hold | Complete/Ongoing

Initiative: 2.32 Study, Implement and evaluate retention strategies across public safety agencies

Creating a Safer Community Together


The team has developed two innovative recruitment tools as areas for further exploration. First, exploring pathways to provide childcare services to the families of public safety employees. Anecdotally, supervisors often hear that lack of appropriate childcare impacts employee decisions to call out from work, or more permanently leave the profession altogether. The provision of these services could greatly impact an employees’ ability to be available, both mentally and physically, for work assignments. 

Next, this initiative will look into increasing and improving educational incentives. Many first responders are motivated by the opportunity to learn new skills through training. The team envisions this might be accomplished by enhanced tuition reimbursement opportunities for employees and an educational leave benefit for use apart from one’s regular accruals.  

Key Measures & Data Analysis

We would like to monitor vacancies across a period of time as part of this initiative. 

It is expected that over time, as this initiative is implemented, vacancy rates will decrease.

Public Safety Vacancy Rates

Why is it important?

It is believed that these two strategies, the provision of childcare services for employees and enhanced educational opportunities, will greatly curb the attrition we have experienced in the public safety sector. Retaining employees is the ultimate goal of this initiative. The City of Durham has a long history of investing in employees, and this will further that commitment and demonstrate that the City is invested in employee success. 

What have we been doing?

  • Identified key collaborators and formed team
  • Developed strategy pertaining to this initiative
  • Implemented new shift schedule in the Durham Emergency Communications Center (DECC)
  • Introduced new training​ incentives in the Durham Police Department (DPD)

What's next?

  • Identify External Thought Partners
  • Needs Assessment Survey Development
  • Distribute Needs Assessment Survey
  • Design and Conduct Focus Groups
  • Evaluate Needs Assessment Results
  • Research Childcare Incentives
  • Research Educational Incentives

Budget and Management Services Department
Office of Performance and Innovation
Strategy and Performance Division