Recruiting and Retaining Officers in Small and Rural Agencies

Cover of Recruiting and Retaining Officers

The Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS) published a report based on a daylong forum held on December 10, 2019, to discuss the challenges of law enforcement recruitment and retention, specifically focused on these issues in relation to smaller, more rural law enforcement agencies. The 32 participants included police chiefs, captains, lieutenants, academic experts, researchers, and agency directors of state police standards. The forum’s small size allowed for a wide-ranging discussion which focused on the qualities which make an effective police officer; an in-depth examination of why people leave a department; the most significant challenges to recruiting and retaining officers; and a brainstorming session on the range of strategies these departments use to attract and keep officers. The result was an exchange of ideas and success stories which reflected the unique regional and size differences between the departments.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at (PDF)