Youth Law Enforcement Experience Programs as a Potential Recruitment Pipeline

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Law enforcement agencies across the United States use youth law enforcement programs such as camps, Explorers, internships, and vocational education programs to introduce young people to the potential of a law enforcement career. The decline in law enforcement applicant pools makes such engagement strategies even more necessary. To help determine the reach and effectiveness of these programs, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) funded RAND, in partnership with the Law and Public Safety Education Network, to conduct a census of US youth law enforcement programs.

This publication, Youth Law Enforcement Experience Programs as a Potential Recruitment Pipeline, summarizes the findings of that census and draws guidance from it for law enforcement agencies implementing their own youth programs. Intended as a roadmap for successful founding, expansion, or continuation of such programs, and as a resource for networking among agencies, it describes key program features and considerations. This publication also provides resources for agencies seeking networking and mentorship from agencies with established youth engagement programs.

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