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4 Ways to Increase Police Recruitment

Ways to increase recruitment...

It’s no secret that lately police departments across the country are short staffed. This is due to a combination of officers leaving at an unprecedented rate; coupled with law enforcement becoming a less desirable field to get into. Here are some good ways to combat the lack of new recruits and also keep the ones you’ve got.

1. Have your best officers and detectives help out with recruitment. They are an amazing tool to show potential new hires just what they could become if they join up. Use your best and brightest to help explain the job and benefits of this amazing career. Law enforcement is one of the most rewarding careers a person can choose, but right now we’re under attack by public perception and the media. A positive interaction with a role model officer can go a lot further than you think.

2. Get on social media. Some of the best recruitment has come out of departments using social media well. Departments that comment on Facebook posts are seen as more personable and better in the eyes of the public. Some of the most effective and supported local departments do a phenomenal job utilizing social media to interact with their citizens.

Get a Facebook page for your department and use it often. Lost dogs, found property, road closures, missing people, etc the possibilities are endless. This is twofold because people will follow you for information, but when it comes time for testing and recruiting, you’ve got the perfect pool to pull from- your very own community. Make a post (or even a short video if you want some extra credit) highlighting the position and why people should join.

3. Change your message- You can’t frame this as a job anymore. Law enforcement is a lifestyle. A career. A calling. A choice that reflects not only on your character, but your desire to give back to the community you serve.

I chose law enforcement to make a difference in people’s lives. Some of the most effective messaging I’ve seen lately revolves around “change.” Departments that recognize law enforcement needs to change can do very well encouraging their community to take part in this. The best I’ve seen lately is chiefs and sheriffs that get in front of their community and ask the people demanding change, to put on a badge and make it happen!

4. Make sure people understand the benefits. I mean this both the tangible and intangible. Highlight the actual benefits for people. Pensions, insurance, vacation, pay etc. the clearer you are the better. You’re competing with businesses who are experts at spelling out why people should work for them. Government agencies are notorious for confusing and complicating things that should be simple. I can’t tell you how confusing some lists of benefits I’ve seen for government positions are for no reason. Keep it simple.

It also doesn’t hurt to highlight the benefits that aren’t tangible things. The feeling of rescuing a child from a dangerous situation, catching a real life bad guy, protecting those that can’t protect themselves. These things will appeal to the deep desire in the best would-be cops out there- those that are motivated by things that aren’t just money. Things you can’t quite put your finger on.

Encourage those that feel unfulfilled by their awful corporate jobs or those that have seen hard circumstances growing up. These can make some of the best policemen and policewomen because they have a deep desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.

In a world that needs police, let’s not forget why we joined up in the first place. That is where you’ll find the solution to start building back your normal level of staffing. It won’t happen overnight sorry to tell you, but this is where we start folks.

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