The news on officer shortages across the country just keep on coming. Departments from coast to coast are experiencing a deficiency of qualified candidates to fill an increasing number of open police officer positions. Here are three tactics to employ as you turn to a job market that’s underserving your current needs.
We know that research and analytics play a major role in human capital management across almost all professions and industries. We should be looking outside of law enforcement to inform ourselves on best practices that can be applied to the unique needs and goals of police departments. That means considering an early intervention system that is grounded in research and fueled by an analytics engine.
1) Real-world policing experience
Anyone can claim to do anything — and they often do. That's why when it comes to an early intervention system, you should look for one that's been built by people who know what it means to walk in your shoes. Were they at one time an officer themselves? Or a member of a command staff? Or perhaps worked in a mayor's or city manager's office? Bringing that real-world experience to the table can mean the difference between a limited, ineffective offering to a nuanced solution that's built specifically for the needs of law enforcement agencies.
When you look at the world of law enforcement technology today, it essentially falls into three specific buckets or categories. First, you have the hardware world, which we all know is very critical. These consist of products like sirens, radios, breathalyzers — things that police need to do their job every day. Second, there are record management systems (RMS) and other like-systems that help catalog, track and manage criminal incidents and follow-up on investigations. This is very highly evolved software in what is a highly competitive landscape. Third, we have the world of human capital management . . . and this is the part of law enforcement technology that has not been properly addressed.
To transform police administration today, we simply need better information. We have to arm police chiefs, command staff and frontline supervisors with crisper, clearer information to make better, more informed professional standards decisions.
We’ve all seen the headlines. And perhaps for some, it’s more than a headline — but rather a living reality. Across the U.S., law enforcement agencies big and small have been experiencing a shortage of officers to meet the demands of the cities and towns they so diligently serve. There are several reasons why, but a few stand out as critical factors.