Let Go of Preconceptions and Reach Out
- The road to quality policing runs by every American's front door.
A young white male who might otherwise go into military service is not the only likely candidate for a career in law enforcement. The spectrum of potential police recruits is a broad as the diversity of all America, which means recruits can be found anyplace you find young Americans: fast food outlets, shopping malls and farmers markets. Create a positive presence in locations you haven't previously considered, and reach out to populations presently underrepresented in policing: young women, the gay community, and recent immigrants.
Paint a Realistic Picture of Public Service
- Community policing skills include working with children, the elderly and the disabled.
Community policing is a positive, proactive career of public service. Police recruitment materials which emphasize high-adventure scenarios in an attempt to compete with military and foreign private-security firms encourage applicants with hero aspirations, and may discourage applicants with superb communication skills, excellent rapport with children and the elderly, or scientific and technical abilities. Focus on public service and demonstrate the wide variety of job tasks involved in police work to attract a diversity of candidates who broaden a department's resource and knowledge base.
Recruitment is Far More Than Hiring
- Portray your department in a positive light.
Police recruiting goes on full time, even when the department is not hiring. Establish a positive community presence and help the public to understand the many ways in which policing enhances local quality of life by engaging in ongoing affirmative public relations. Issue press releases and have recognition events to celebrate not only internal promotions and accomplishments, but the contributions of department personnel to school and community projects. When the community views the police department in a positive light, vacancies will be seen as an exciting opportunity to join an inviting public-service team.