Police recruitment a challenge nationally, expert says
Large departments often struggle to find recruits who can meet the customer service aspect of a modern police officer's role
By Jeff Kolkey
ROCKFORD, Ill. — Rockford is far from alone in its struggles to hire qualified candidates to become police officers.
Although recruitment results vary with economic, social and educational factors across the country, large departments often struggle to find recruits who can meet the increasingly customer-service-oriented role of a modern police officer, said Kim Kohlhepp, manager of the Center for Testing and Career Development for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“Nationwide, recruitment is always a challenge for policing,” Kohlhepp said. “On the one hand, with jobs being more scarce, it makes recruiting a little easier for all jobs. Even under conditions like that, it’s difficult for agencies to recruit enough qualified applicants. To become a police officer, there is a stringent background requirement that eliminates many candidates, drug testing, criminal records check and beyond that, the nature of policing has changed.”
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