Financial and Pre-Retirement Planning for Law Enforcement Officers
Contemporary law enforcement agencies across the country are constantly evaluating the need to better prepare their employees for the tremendous challenges of the future. Employees are often cited as a police executive’s most valuable assets. Unfortunately, police agencies have failed to recognize the importance of having financially stable officers working within their ranks. Police officers and their families consider the topic of money as a major stressor in their lives (Ellison, 2004). In addition, police officers have been historically unprepared for retirement years. This financial illiteracy lends itself to family conflict, officer fatigue, and disenfranchisement into retirement. Police departments across the country should implement financial and pre-retirement training into the core training programs. Financially fit officers will see a reduction in the frequency of their previously necessary extra-duty jobs and overtime. In addition, police officers typically retire sooner than their civilian counterparts (Caudill & Peak, 2009a). Early intervention and financial planning for officers throughout their career can reduce the likelihood of insufficient income during retirement. The continued evolution of police training demands that police executives consider the overall wellness and financial fitness of their officers. The benefits of a financially literate officer extend well beyond the officer’s own performance and well-being. These officers will enter their retirement on their own terms, committed to the agencies they served, and well prepared to enjoy the same communities they worked so tirelessly to protect.