Careers in Public Safety are challenging and rewarding, and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) invests in the people who serve our community as Public Safety Officers. They enjoy great pay and excellent benefits including paid training, a unique schedule that encourages a healthy work life balance, and a defined benefit pension, just to name a few. KDPS is the largest public safety organization in the country with almost 300 employees, with nearly 270 of those being sworn officers. 

Academy Sponsorship & Paid Training

KDPS will sponsor hired applicants through the police academy and provide all required fire and EMS training. Employees will receive an hourly wage during all training.


Public Safety Officers are paid bi-weekly, based on a 42-hour work week. Pay is determined by a negotiated annual contract between the City of Kalamazoo and the collective bargaining unit. Officers are paid a salary based on their rank and pay step.

  • Starting Wages Before Cross-Trained: ~$50,538 (based on the 2024 PSO I Wage Scale, 42-Hour Day-shift schedule)
  • Annual Wages Once Cross-Trained: ~$55,561 (based on the 2024 PSO I Wage Scale, 42-Hour Day-shift schedule)
  • Annual Wages Once Off-Probation: ~$62,178.48 (based on the 2024 PSO II Wage Scale, 42-Hour Day-shift schedule)
  • Annual Wages Once Off-Probation (with holidays): ~$66,619.00 (based on the 2024 PSO II Wage Scale, 42-Hour Day-shift schedule)
  • Top Out Wage in 2026: ~$87,578.40 (based on the 2026 PSO II Wage Scale, 42-Hour Day-shift schedule)

Wages through 2026 can be found in the “Kalamazoo Public Safety Officers’ Association 2022-2026” contract under “Union Contracts”.

View Union Contracts

Night Shift Premium

Public Safety Officers receive a night-shift premium for any hours worked starting at 12 pm.

Scheduled Start Time  Hourly Premium
1200-1459 $0.55 / hr
1500-1859 $0.75 / hr
1900-2359 $1 / hr


KDPS offers a defined benefit pension plan for eligible employees at 25 years of service, or for those age 50 with 10 years of credited service. Retirement benefits are calculated based on final average compensation and years of credited service, with a maximum benefit up to 70.2%. Retirees also benefit from an annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of 2% annually. 

Employee contribution to the pension is 4.5%. Public Safety Officers have a vested benefit after 10 years of service.


Our unique schedule encourages a healthy balance between life and career with ample time off. Public Safety Officers assigned to the patrol division are scheduled to work 14-days out of a 28-day work rotation. PSOs have 7-days off in a row every work cycle. PSOs assigned to patrol work 12-hour shifts.

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
On On On On Off Off Off
Off Off Off Off On On On
On Off Off Off On On On
 Off On On On Off Off Off

Public Safety Officers assigned to fire apparatus as equipment operators are scheduled to work 9 to 10 days out of a 28-day work rotation. Equipment operators work 24-hour shifts. An example of a 28-day rotation is below. 

On Off On Off On Off Off
Off Off On Off On Off On
Off Off Off Off On Off On
Off On Off Off Off Off On

Public Safety Officers assigned to specialty divisions typically work four, 10.5-hour days each work week.


Public Safety Officers who complete 6 years of continuous service get an annual longevity payment as follows:

  • 6-10 years of service = $800
  • 11-14 years of service = $1600
  • 15+ years of service = $2400

Zone Assignment Bonus

Public Safety Officers who work as a patrol officer or traffic officer assigned to the Operations Division earn an annual assignment bonus based on their years of service. The bonus starts at $500 after five years of service and increases $100 with each additional year of service to a maximum of $2400 per year. 


Public Safety Officers receive annual vacation time according to their years of completed service. Officers who have completed less than one year of continuous service will receive pro-rated vacation during the next calendar year.

Years of Service 40-Hr Employee 42-hr Employee 56-Hr Employee
1 - 5 88 96 144
5-11 128 138 240
11-12 136 144 240
12-13 144 156 264
 13-14 152 162 264
14-15 160 168 264
15+ 180 180 288

Paid Holidays

The following days are recognized as holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, the day celebrated as Veterans’ Day (November 11th), Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve Day.

Public Safety Officers scheduled to work on a holiday earn their daily wages, plus holiday pay (which is time and a half). Holiday wages add approximately $4,500 to your annual salary.

Residency Bonus

Public Safety Officers who live within the City of Kalamazoo will receive a $5,000 annual bonus paid out in bi-weekly installments.

Tuition Reimbursement

The City of Kalamazoo will reimburse up to $2,500 annually for employees seeking higher education through an approved program.

Fitness Facilities

Public Safety Officers have access to four fitness facilities located at our stations and can receive personalized fitness training through our Peer Fitness Team. KDPS offers an employee “Run Club,” which helps employees train for personal fitness goals.

Updated Technology & Equipment

Public Safety Officers wear external load-bearing vests and have access to the latest technology and equipment, such as body cameras, Tasers, drones, Flock cameras, license plate readers, FUSUS camera systems, NIBIN testing, MY90, and more.

Take-Home Vehicles

Certain specialty assignments, such as detectives, drug investigators, K9 officers, divisional commanders, and specialty unit commanders receive an additional benefit of a take-home vehicle.

Lateral Transfers

KDPS offers a lateral transfer incentive for current police officers (MCOLES certified/certifiable) and/or full-time firefighter/medical first responders (Michigan firefighter 1 & 2 certified with MFR licensure). Those qualifying for the lateral transfer incentive are eligible for a $15,000 hiring bonus and can receive credit up to three years on the wage scale. Applicable credited time in Michigan is also Public Act 88 eligible.

Military Benefits

Public Safety Officers with military experience are allowed to buy back up to three years of qualified service time towards their pension. KDPS is also a qualified employer for veterans to receive on-the-job-training benefits from the military.