Police leaders are fighting uphill battles in a two-front war:
- Retain experienced officers already in the ranks
- Attract the next generation of outstanding officers
Amid anti-police rehtoric from some members of the press, the public, and political leadership, young people are staying away from the law enforcement profession in drives, and many senior officers are leaving the profession—often to embark on a different career—well before reaching retirement age. Police leaders may consider the following strategies to help them prevail: 1. Engage young people through programs like Explorers, PAL, SRO, and the like to plant the seed in young minds the policing is "something worth doing".
- Identify people who aspire to the profession
- Prepare those peopl with tools to do the job
- Enhance agency / community relations
2. Ensure that training programs meet the needs of officers seeking to rise in the ranks, therefore increasing job satisfaction and improving retention.
- Cultivate future leaders through recognition of superior service
- Create pathways for advancement with excellent in-service training
- Check on (and credit) officers' outside training and advanced education