Shane Burleigh


The defund police movement has created negative consequences as it pertains to the recruitment of officers over the last five years; the author and other police administrators across the country have been presented with the challenges of hiring qualified employees from a quickly dwindling pool of applicants. This situation, now combined with the coronavirus pandemic and the Defund the Police movement, has made the job of simply filling those positions vacated by retiring officers or officers leaving the profession out of frustration almost impossible and has sent some hiring managers into a panic. Officers in some agencies are forced to take on more and more overtime to cover minimum staffing, causing problems such as understaffing and officer burnout.

This article explores what some agencies, including the author’s own, have done to mitigate some of these issues. We will also examine examples of good modernization processes and tactics as they relate to police officer recruiting, such as the modernization and revamping of the application and hiring process. Recruiting also must be at the forefront of hiring managers’ minds, along with the importance of portraying the correct image and brand. Once police departments have gone through these processes of change and are seeing the fruits of their labor in not just more applicants but more qualified applicants better fitting their organizations, they need to be able to retain them. This is accomplished through a robust onboarding process.



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