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Recruitment and Retention of Police Officers in North Carolina

NCJ Number
205041
Journal
Police Chief Volume: 71 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2004 Pages: 43,45,49
Author(s)
Douglas L. Yearwood; Stephanie Freeman
Editor(s)
Charles E. Higginbotham
Date Published
March 2004
Length
6 pages
Annotation
This article presents the work and findings of the recruitment and retention focus group formed by several agencies in North Carolina to identify emerging issues facing the State’s criminal justice system and public safety personnel.
Abstract
In 2000, the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission, the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission identified four major emerging issues facing the State’s criminal justice system and public safety personnel. Teams were created and assigned to each issue to review, identify obstacles, outline future goals and objectives and formulate an action plan. This article focuses on the work and study findings of the recruitment and retention focus group. The study covered the years 1998 to 2002 with a survey sample consisting of 124 agencies. Survey participants described their recruitment strategies, ranked from passive to neutral to strongly aggressive. The recruitment techniques identified include: word-of-mouth, newspaper ads, community college, Internet, personnel listings, auxiliary/reserve force, job fairs, police corps, and radio/TV ads. Survey participants described their recruitment techniques, backlog of applicants, and barriers to recruiting. Six different techniques for personnel retention were identified from the survey: annual pay increase (irrespective of performance), education and training, promotions, annual pay increase (performance-based), formal awards and recognition, and assigned favorable work shift. Policy recommendations are presented as a result of the study in the areas of recruitment strategy, retention strategy, and selection strategy. This study provides a baseline for future studies to ensure that the law enforcement executives know what it will take to recruit and retain a police force to meet the needs of their community.