The most respected and admired law enforcement agencies know that finding the right people to lead and work at the agency is the most important key to their success. The position of professional police officer has never been as crucial as it is now. Not only does a police officer need to have a high number of important traits and qualities, but their ideals and vision should mirror that of the organization which they work for.
In the past, police recruitment was straight forward. But the multifaceted problems and challenges today’s police officers will face comes down to smart recruiting efforts from the very start. One of the main difficulties in finding the right people for law enforcement officer positions is that the high-caliber candidates who have been successfully recruited in the past are often found working in other industries. Because of this, there are fewer qualified candidates left for police and law enforcement agencies to recruit. Another challenge in police officer recruiting is the presence of large law enforcement and commercial recruitment agencies. The smaller agencies are not able to compete with them. The effect is fewer chances and opportunities are given to those from the underrepresented populations. Because of that, there is less equality in the opportunities being presented to the citizens.
New ideas and innovations in police officer recruiting, gradually brings changes to the system. This ensures better opportunities to recruit quality officers that are able to uphold the standards of the organization. They are now being more stringent about recruiting officers from smaller communities to ensure that all individuals are given equal opportunities
Other considerations in progressive police officer recruiting:
Proactively engaging communities on a more one-to-one basis for more impact. By going to communities and dealing with the citizens themselves, it is easier to see which ones are the better candidates. By working directly with the citizens, a better bond is fostered with the law enforcement agency and the people in the community. This is also a good way to be able to recruit minority officers.
It is vital that police recruiting officers adapt and tailor their recruitment efforts to be more in line with the candidates and community. Each community has its own unique needs and realities. Going into the community and interacting with more focus on impact will bring better results. The agency will be able to see what community members really need. In turn, they will get better candidates that are best able to understand the community.
Progressive police recruiters should try to incorporate and create more of an environment that is devoid of discrimination. They should be fixated on creating a positive perception of the law enforcement as a whole to the world, regardless of gender, race, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation. By having a workforce that is diverse, one can be assured of a successful group.
Police, Sheriff’s and other law enforcement agencies should try hiring workers that are considering different careers. There are many people that might be interested in serving their communities but lack some of the qualifications. Some have the knowledge and skills to be good police officer, but lack some aspects of doing the job. Police recruiting officers should make more of an effort to connect with people on different levels. They will likely find that there are more police officer candidates.
Long-term, agencies should consider creating a good mentoring program. Good mentors can impact young recruits in various ways. Mentors can teach from experience and build confidence in young recruits. They are ensuring good future law enforcement leaders.
Plan to make this your next training experience. You’ll be amazed at the knowledge and experience that you’ll bring to your agency.