The Model Police Officer: Recruitment, Training, and Community Engagement

November 16, 2018


T his report is the result of research conducted by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), pursuant to an agreement with the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), to gather information from local government leaders and staff, police chiefs, police union representatives, and citizens. The survey targeted communities of varying sizes in different regions of the country to better understand the characteristics sought in the “model” police officer, and to address the following questions:
  • What is the current state of police officer recruiting?
  • Who should jurisdictions recruit?
  • How do they reach those candidates?
  • How should they conduct the onboarding and training process?
  •  If their goal is to engage the new recruits with the community, what are the best methods of doing so?
Since the goal of this project is to get a sense of the state of the practice and possibilities, the results are discussed by sectors, regions, roles, and demographics. The report concludes with key takeaways and recommendations. With consideration of the strategies outlined here, an appropriate onboarding and training plan, and effective partnership with community stakeholders, jurisdictions can build upon their existing efforts in a way that leads to more effective hiring and retention.

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