A community cannot achieve civilization as well as prosperity without a competent police force. This necessitates the need for coming up with a recruitment plan that takes into account the needs of a given community, commonly known as community policing.
An effective recruitment plan entails carrying out an assessment of the police workforce requirement in both the short term as well as long-term basis. This paper will review a case study of Greenfield Police Department in a bid to improve its hiring procedure. It will do so by answering a number of questions emanating from the study.
The Greenfield police department is governed by its own criteria for evaluating eligible applicants for police recruitment. With regard to educational performance, the policy still states that eligible applicants must possess a ‘two-year degree’ in the field of law enforcement. As a result, questions abound on the validity of this requirement, as many claim that this eliminates a number of prospective applicants who can perform the job diligently, since the police recruitment is characterized by short and long-term job training.
Miller, Hess, & Orthmann (2010) affirm that there is a significant difference between attitude of the educated and the uneducated officers with regard to community policing policies, especially with the minority officers. However, even though the educated officers depict an optimistic attitude towards the community policing policies, it is apparent that the law enforcement education does not influence an officer’s behavior while arresting suspects.
Hence, behavioral change towards the community policing can only be achieved through on job training programs. With this in mind, and given the fact that police force has a tainted image that embarrasses law enforcement graduates, making them to seek jobs elsewhere, this requirement only leads to a shortage of staffing requirement for the Greenfield police department both in the short term as well as in the long term.
Using a language that is not in line with the policies of the Greenfield police department lowers the validity of the test since it makes it complex to find clarity on factors that motivate applicants in joining the police force, including salary, retirement benefits, housing, opportunity for advancement, as well as the hiring process.
A change of language, however, has the potential of contributing positively towards assessing the appropriate methodology for interviewing new applicants. However, even though there should be networks and relationships between the police force and other departments, the police department should have written the exam, as they are obligated to assess the values that emanate from the cultural of the community in relation to the police force from a grassroots level (Miller, Hess, & Orthmann, 2010).
The fact that the written exam is not in line with the current technology turns off the potential applicants in the recruitment process, because the new the applicants in the police force comprise of young people who embrace the field of technology.
More over, a test developed some decades ago is out of context because the social values of a community are dynamic and are subject to changes. As such, it is worthwhile to provide an exam that is up to date since it would facilitate knowledge on the new practices, thus helping to meet the present and the future needs of the community.
The manner in which the Greenfield police department conducted the interview facilitated quick response from the applicants. However, in addition to the written test, it is worthwhile to add an essay since it would identify diverse skills of the applicants at a personal level, hence depicting the level of personal maturity with regard to community policing policies. More so, an essay, especially a reflective essay, would help the Greenfield police department in the following areas, among others:
Obtaining comprehensive knowledge on the demographic information of each applicant;
Obtaining a wide range of information concerning experience relative to working in the police department for each applicant, including experience obtained from the private law enforcement entities; and
Obtaining a wide range of knowledge on each applicant’s potential to improve the Greenfield police department’s processes, inputs, as well as results.
The interview part of the hiring process can be greatly improved by coming up with a number of strategies that are in line with the current goals and objectives of the police force: to have a police force that upholds community-policing policies. These strategies include all of the following:
Coming up with a recruitment team from the police force department that clearly reflects on the current goals of the hiring process;
Reducing significantly the time spent during the hiring process;
Assessing the employees hiring skills and deploying the qualified employees to the relevant areas within the hiring cycle;
Assessing the community needs in order to update the material used in the hiring process;
Creating personal email accounts for the eligible applicants;
Assessing the factors that would affect the hiring cycle;
Opening a website for the recruitment exercise; and, finally,
Formulating a budget for the entire hiring process
The physical fitness test (PFT) is one of the major tests that the job applicants in the police force undergo through, simply because the work of a police officer entails physical activities that are often strenuous. The physical fitness test, through criterion validation, has the ability to measure whether an applicant is able to perform certain kinds of tasks, which have defined standards (Miller, Hess, & Orthmann, 2010).
However, the physical fitness test brings forward one key question: is there validity in the physical fitness test? This question emanates from the fact that it is irrational for the police department to concentrate on the shortcoming of the applicants instead of concentrating on their potential.
Despite the failure of the PFT in the Greenfield police recruitment exercise, this test does not have pitfall since it offers a number of advantages, including carrying out a prediction of the training requirements, lowering the chances of adverse health as well as injuries in the police force, and promoting physical fitness within the police officers (Miller, Hess, & Orthmann, 2010).
More so, the physical fitness test helps to highlight the applicants’ physical fitness deficiency as a major factor affecting the readiness as well as the morale of the police officers in enforcing the law.
Miller, L., Hess, K., & Orthmann, C. (2010). Community policing: Partnerships for problem solving. Independence, KY: Cengage Learning.