This week the Department of Justice issues an exhaustive report on police recruiting and retention titled “Recruitment and Retention for the Modern Law Enforcement Agency.” The report comes after the agency met with various stakeholders to discuss the ongoing crisis in police staffing. Here are a few take aways from the document that we believe can help agencies.
Streamline Hiring Process
We recommend to our clients that they must shorten the time it takes from application to hiring. SAFEGUARD Recruiting leverages technology to immediately communicate with an applicant and keep them informed of the process. The DOJ further recommends additional staffing for background checks as well as hiring potential candidates as civilians as they wait on the police academy to begin.
Modernize Police Training
SAFEGUARD Recruiting encourages our clients to prepare candidates for the police academy with a transparency. Of expectations. This may include providing the physical fitness requirements prior to entry or resources that they will be studying. The DOJ recommends a collaborative training effort that incorporates members of the community along with seasoned trainers for the candidates.
We have had success in recruiting without the offer of hire on bonuses and as we have said in the past, one department’s bonus can always be topped by another agency so at best, it is a short-term solution to a problem that we believe can be fixed with sound recruiting efforts. The DOJ recommends that agencies consider moving bonuses away from hiring and into retention.
When we discuss working with our agencies, we explain that we see success by promoting non-monetary rewards. The new generation of crime fighters want to know about days off, vacation, and alternative shifts and we often make that the focus of our campaigns. The DOJ encourages agencies to look at their shifts to ensure that they promote wellness as well as coverage.
The DOJ mentioned the importance of cadet and explorer programs to attract new police officers. This is exactly what our mentoring program is. We target high school and college aged individuals through a dedicated e-mail campaign and convert that to a recruiting campaign as they become eligible.