As the recruiting climate shifts in police departments from coast to coast, it’s important to start discussing diversity as a pillar of the recruiting process. Your team should be a direct reflection of the community that they’ve pledged to protect and serve, and it’s important to invest in great cops from all walks of life to enhance your perspectives.
The trick is implementing diversity initiatives without sacrificing quality. Here are some strategies for effectively recruiting more diverse police forces.
Representation Is Key
To hire more diverse recruits, you first need to attract them. The best way to do that is by representing the type of recruit you’re looking for in your social media and recruiting materials. Make these materials with transparency and genuine human connection in mind – show off the diversity that you already have, and don’t be afraid to show personal stories and make your officers approachable. Everyone wants to be part of something that’s larger than themselves; make your police department feel like a place they can do that.
It’s all well and good to intend to create an approachable and diverse recruitment culture, but are you actually communicating that? Take a look at your social media, marketing materials, and recruiting videos. Are they actually in line with what you want to achieve? For some departments, it might be time for an update.
While this step might seem expensive at the moment, it will pay huge dividends when you’re hiring diverse, highly qualified officers who serve their community with compassion and pride.
Aim to Retain
Recruiting great candidates isn’t the end of the line – you have to make sure that you’re keeping them, too. Developing diverse, effective mentorship programs and an environment where your officers can leverage their strengths can greatly boost retention, ensuring that your department isn’t crippled by constant turnover.
It’s important to communicate with your entire team about your diversity initiative – if everyone is working together, the workplace feels less combative and can help recruits settle in more effectively to their new roles.