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Police Recruiting, Hiring, and Retention — Current Issues

Recruiting, hiring and retaining service-oriented civilian and sworn personnel are essential to advancing community policing.

The COPS Office has developed a series of resources to assist law enforcement agencies with their recruitment and hiring efforts. For example, ensuring there is a constant supply of new employees to satisfy staffing needs has been longstanding concern of law enforcement. Balancing the expectations of younger generations that will represent the future of the policing profession with the traditional expectations of law enforcement agencies is becoming difficult, and may require changes in how police agencies operate.

Some agencies have an overabundance of applicants, while others are experience difficulties in recruiting qualified candidates. Many potential candidates are seeking careers in industries other than policing. Therefore, the competition for the most qualified candidates is intense.

Some agencies aggressively pursue lateral hires; creating retention challenges for other agencies. Some agencies struggle with balancing the proper mix of civilian and sworn staff and the appropriate roles of each in the agency. That's why the COPS Office has developed and gathered resources to help to ensure that agencies are appropriately staffed to implement community policing.

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