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Increasing Officer Retention Through Educational Incentives

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 78 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2009 Pages: 11-15
Mark J. Terra
Date Published
February 2009
5 pages
This article examines educational incentives as a key strategy in the retention of law enforcement officers.
The law enforcement profession is constantly changing. New trends in multiethnic society have occurred as well as public safety challenges have emerged in the area of terrorism. Departments need to be able to hire and retain adaptable and productive officers. Research has shown that job satisfaction serves as a key component in retention. Research has also shown that if agencies offer incentives in training and educational opportunities, job satisfaction will increase as well as departments will have better-skilled officers handling a continuously challenging profession. Educational opportunities ranging from offering in-service training to helping officers obtain advanced degrees can accomplish this objective. In recent years, many law enforcement agencies have faced increased officer turnover and, at the same time, have found it difficult to recruit qualified applicants. After developing a system that effectively screens for qualified applicants, employees must find ways to retain them. This article examines retention strategies with a focus on training and education as a key incentive for professional growth and job satisfaction. 28 endnotes