Reasons and Strategies for Employee Retention in Law Enforcement




Hadash, Christian L.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Retention levels in law enforcement are falling and the need for officers is increasing. Massive efforts and resources are being spent trying to solve the problem with recruiting and changing the image of law enforcement agencies. The problem is that recruiting is only half the battle. Recruiting is expensive and can often attract gypsy cops, who may roam from town to town, looking for the highest pay. Recruiting is also expensive for agencies hiring new officers, which require additional expenses to fully train and equip. The simplest answer to the problem of recruiting is for law enforcement agencies to start devoting resources to the retention of their current employees. By using proper techniques to improve opportunities for advancement and promotions, better balances between work and life, and better leadership, law enforcement agencies can build loyalty amongst their employees. When employees are loyal and happy, they will cease the search for something better and can be successfully retained. If an agency can develop loyalty to the point that it creates a high level of retention, then recruiting becomes less of a problem. This built loyalty will carry with it a good reputation and prestige for the agency, and that prestige will drive people looking for a better job in law enforcement to them, instead of the agencies that are spending valuable time and money to seek them out.



Police--Personnel Management, Career Development, Employee Retention