Hiring and Recruiting the Best Fit for your Agency




Seeling, Derek

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Law enforcement agencies across the country are seeing increases in police officer vacancies due to officers retiring or leaving the law enforcement workforce. At the same time, law enforcement agencies are also seeing a decrease in the number of people applying to be police officers. The problem many agencies are facing is whether to hire to fill staffing needs or be selective for the right fit for their organization. This is a relevant question because the results can be far more impactful than just the person hired. A review of The Stanford Prison Experiment, Milgram’s Obedience Studies, and Abu Ghraib prison revealed that people can be strongly influenced by others and that ethical values can be skewed (Caldero & Crank, 2011; Wargo, 2006; McLeod, 2007; Benjamin Jr. & Simpson, 2009). People can be influenced in relatively minor ways to do cruel, and, sometimes, brutal things. Someone’s good intentions can become corrupted and what started out noble may come to be dishonorable. Notable psychological studies and evaluation of contrasting belief systems are the impetus for this research. The results are relevant to hiring and recruiting in law enforcement. This research in general considers departments across the nation and their policing manpower needs. Many agencies are reporting similar recruiting and hiring challenges. It was concluded that law enforcement agencies that are actively hiring need to find the applicants that are the best fit for their organization. Law enforcement agencies should keep open positions vacant instead of hiring the wrong person.



Police--Recruiting, Police--Selection and Appointment