Professional Development for New Law Enforcement Officers




Coleman, Trey

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Law enforcement agencies devote countless resources towards recruiting and training new officers coming into the ranks of their organizations. The highs of graduation from an academy training program are then met with the realities of the job. Stress, financial problems, career stagnation, and feelings of unfair treatment can demoralize or derail the career of young law enforcement officers. If a law enforcement agency does not focus on combating those issues that plague new officers, then the monetary and human resources expended during the recruiting and training process will prove ineffective with officers leaving faster than can be replaced. These reasons are why law enforcement agencies should implement a professional development program for their newest officers. Many of these pitfalls could be avoided with the implementation of professional development programs aimed at new officers in the early stages of their careers. A professional development program preparing officers for the known and unknown stressors before the stressors build up would lead to better coping ability. Breaking down the disciplinary process and providing what to expect if the officer was the target of an internal affairs investigation would provide perspective, guidelines, and deeper relationships. Financial literary training would enable officers to begin developing their strategic plan for a career where the days are long and the average 24 year-career is short. Finally, a professional development program demonstrates that a law enforcement agency cares about their employees as more than a cog in the government machine.



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