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From a Face to a Force

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 36 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2009 Pages: 10,14-16,18,19
Sara Schreiber
Date Published
March 2009
6 pages
This article examines the recruitment and hiring of qualified criminal justice personnel in trying financial times.
Quality law enforcement officers should never be a causality of economic hardship, especially when both recruiters and the recruits continue to seek rewarding and lasting relationships. The challenge for agencies is first finding certified individuals with the right skills. Despite challenges, good cops are out there waiting to be found. Recruiting can be difficult for both the applicant and the recruiting agency; only 10 percent of prospective officers are hired on, so it pays to start off with a large, diverse applicant pool. While many agencies hope for ample Federal stimulus handouts in the coming days, hiring continues to pose problems with small and rural departments having the hardest time of all. Despite being excellent training grounds, more officers choose to leave these agencies to seek out greater responsibility and competitive wages. Often small agencies have a tiny number of applicants to begin with, not to mention a high turnover rate. Measuring skills of new hires, such as background investigations, physical qualifications, and emotional and mental health concerns are discussed in more detail.