Police Recruitment and Retention for the New Millennium: The State of Knowledge

Police Recruitment and Retention for the New Millennium: The State of Knowledge

Police Recruitment and Retention for the New Millennium: The State of Knowledge

Police Recruitment and Retention for the New Millennium: The State of Knowledge

Synopsis

Many police departments report difficulties in creating a workforce that represents community demographics, is committed to providing its employees the opportunity for long-term police careers, and effectively implements community policing. This book summarizes lessons on recruiting and retaining effective workforces.

Excerpt

Maintaining the police workforce level is one of the most salient challenges facing law enforcement today. In the long run, both the supply of and demand for qualified officers are changing in a time of increasing attrition, expanding law-enforcement responsibilities, and decreasing resources. These contribute to the dificulties that many agencies report in creating a workforce that represents the demographics of their communities, that is committed to providing its employees the opportunity for long-term police careers, and that effectively implements community policing.

These difficulties, perhaps surprisingly, have persisted through recent recessionary times and may become more challenging as the economy improves. Department resources have continued to decrease and responsibilities to increase, with agencies being asked to do more police work with fewer resources. Some agencies report staffing shortages (a small number still claim continuing drops in applications). Others question whether the long-term commitment of applicants and current officers will persist in times of economic improvement.

To help address these challenges and provide lessons for the lawenforcement community, this monograph does not offer any new data but rather summarizes for police practitioners lessons on recruiting and retaining diverse, effective workforces. It provides a means for local officials to identify what has been tried elsewhere and what might be applicable in their own communities. It is a broad analysis of issues confronting many agencies and how these have developed over time. Each agency will face unique circumstances that it must consider in workforce planning; this . . .

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