Candidate gets to the background check and fails. The FCSO process is outlined below and is the industry standard test program. Pre-application Application Invitation to begin testing Tests • Written Test • Physical Agility Test • Panel interview • Voice Stress Analyzer • Oral Boards • In-depth Background Check Purpose The purpose of this proposed research is to provide alternative tested methods of recruiting and retaining a qualified, diversified workforce. This proposal address several issues regarding recruiting and retaining law enforcement officers, specifically in Flagler County, Florida.
The proposed study is limited to Flagler County and only one specific position, sworn law enforcement positions. When a law enforcement agency recruits a diverse workforce, it ultimately has a broader service range. This is comprised of a diverse collection of language skills and cultural understanding. It will also enable the agency to have a variety of viewpoints from various cultures and fosters an attitude of sincerity, which encourages employees to express their ideas while having the sense of equal value to the agency. Changing Social and Technological Landscape
The changing social and technological landscape of the United States has created significant barriers to the implementation of a more diverse workforce. Although racial tensions have long been acknowledged between police officers and minorities, the recent explosion of technological advances in the United States has directly contributed to making such issues much more visible in the public eye. Take, for example, the fact that bystanders often use personal cell phones to record questionable police interactions which can subsequently be shared via social media websites at an alarming rate.
While these visual depictions can be useful evidence in cases when criminal charges are brought forth against either the law enforcement agent or the alleged perpetrator, the videos also prove problematic in that they rarely show the entire interaction which can skew the timeline of actual events. Likewise, the inclusion of police body cameras to capture real-time situations also work to establish a sense of transparency between the police and the populations they serve.
While this visibility can be essential in rebuilding trust, it has also highlighted the fact that in most states, diversity within police departments fails to align with the diversity of the overall population. This is further supported by a recent literature review by the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which revealed that “there are police departments in every corner of the United States where there are severe mismatches between the racial composition of the police force and the demographics of the community at large” (2015, p. ).
Still further, a recent FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin published by Dr. Susan Hilal and Dr. James Densley outlines another way in which the technological and social landscape is changing views of this once revered profession. The authors reveal that “Images on television and social media often…provide recruits with a limited view of the responsibilities of the position. An ‘us versus them’ mentality that alienates officers from the communities they serve can occur” (2015, p. 4-5).
That is, social and technological changes have also contributed to the growing divide between law enforcement agents and the public in that officers are becoming equally distrusting of the community members they are supposed to protect. Thus, significant steps must be taken to diversify the current law enforcement population as a means of contributing to the restoration of a fair and unbiased justice system within the United States. The Flagler County Sheriff position is an elected position. In 2001, FCSO sheriff was J. Manfre. He was defeated in the 2004 election when J. Fleming took office.
Sheriff Fleming was the sheriff from 2004 to 2011. In the 2012 election Sheriff Fleming was defeated by J. Manfre. Sheriff Manfre resided as sheriff through 2016. He was defeated in the 2017 election by Sheriff –Elect R. Staly. The culture of FCSO changes with each new sheriff. The culture affects recruiting and retention. Barriers Slowing Implementation There are several factors that are impeding the creation of a more qualified diverse police workforce. First, as previously mentioned, real or perceived racial tensions have long contributed to a sense of distrust between law enforcement agents and certain ethnic populations.
The recent police shooting is one example. Another example, the Black Lives Matter movement depicts the widespread belief among African-Americans that police officers do not have this population’s best interest in mind. As such, individuals from this minority group are less likely to pursue a career in this field, thus furthering the divide necessary to enact real change. Another significant barrier is the FCSO deputy’s starting salary is lower than the surrounding counties. Other contributing factors are the lack of adequate resources for education among the most underrepresented groups.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbooks notes that “Education requirements range from a high school diploma to a college degree” (2015). However, many minority groups have less access to quality educational resources than their Caucasian counterparts, often due to a lack of funding allocation in impoverished areas. As such, there are fewer applicants from these groups that possess the minimum requirements necessary to become a law enforcement officer, thus limiting the pool of qualified candidates from these underrepresented groups.
Literature Review To best assess the need for change within recruitment and retention practices, it is necessary to first establish a basic understanding of current guidelines as well as to discern how these strategies are problematic to the creation of a diverse qualified workforce before eventually being able to find solutions to such problems. Recruitment Strategies. One strategy outlined in a Michigan State University School of Justice publication is a focus on building professional networks through everyday interactions. Dr. Jeremy P.
Wilson notes that “‘friends or family working at the department that recruits ultimately joined were responsible for first prompting more than 40 percent of new recruits’” (2014, p. 81). This can work to the advantage of building a team by promoting a positive and realistic expectation of a career in law enforcement. However, this strategy can further exacerbate the issue of diversity in that, the population of this field is still predominantly Caucasian males which implies that potential family members applying will also be of Caucasian descent.
Thus, this policy should certainly still be used as a recruitment tool but should not be the singular focus of such efforts. Another recruitment strategy outlined by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is the use of traditional brochures and marketing materials (2007, slide 28). Currently this is the method used by FCSO human resource department. While this is a somewhat failsafe method, the move into a digital era requires more technologically advanced methods to reach the target audience.
Another essential recruitment strategy is described by Brett Meade, the Deputy Chief of Police for the University of Central Florida in an article entitled “Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Law Enforcement Officers. The author suggests that having “a personal relationship with the staff of…military veterans’ organizations, as well as the directors of law enforcement academies and deans of criminal justice programs with colleges and universities” is a prime way for agencies to build a pool of potential candidates early on (2016,).
This policy is a strong area to focus funding allocation as strategic partnerships have the potential to reach a much more qualified diverse group of individuals that may not be in contact with law enforcement agencies otherwise. Retention Strategies. Along with recruitment practices, retention policies also play a significant role in contributing to the diversification of the police workforce. Wareham, Smith & Lambert (2013) point out that “Reducing officer turnover can save significant resources, yet little is known about the rates and patterns of turnover in law enforcement”.
However, across a multitude of studies, there are some factors that can directly impact retention efforts within this sector. For example, Policing in America cites uniform allowances, pay increases with higher education and benefits as the most influential determinants in retaining well-trained officers (Gaines & Kappeler, 2015, p. 156). Thus, a continued focus on such attributes could go far in encouraging minority groups that might otherwise view up-front costs as a significant deterrent against applying for open positions. Another retention strategy utilized by many agencies is the institution of minimum-time requirement policies.
In fact, “In 2008, 19% of agencies required new officers to sign a minimum time-of-service agreement. Among agencies with service agreements, most required either a 2-year (43%) or 3-year (32%) service term” (Reaves, 2012, p. 17). This type of strategy significantly slows the turnover rate for those agencies that use it. Thus, it makes sense for more widespread implementation of such policies as a means of keeping recruits—especially those from underrepresented groups—from resigning which could negatively impact the diversity of many agencies.
Other studies looked at employee satisfaction with family-friendly programs offered by the agency (Caillier, 2016). This study examined family-friendly programs such as, paid leave, child care, telework, and alternative work schedules. The findings were the only family-friendly benefit that reduced turnover was child care. The findings also indicates turnover rates were not higher in agencies with fewer family-friendly programs. Methodology This research proposal will require quantitative approach with a casual-comparative/ quasi-experimental characteristic.
This approach attempts a cause-effect relationship among the variables. The groups are not random. The structure for a quantitative design is based in the scientific method and the basic method of a quantitative design is observations about something that is unknown or unexplained, hypothesize an explanation based on your observation, making a prediction of the outcomes based on your hypotheses, collect and process data, and make your conclusion.
The extent to which extraneous, uncontrolled or unidentified, variables have been controlled by the researcher affects the validity of the quantitative study. Be sure to identify all variables that may have effects in an investigation and account for them in your methodology. 1 An independent variable is manipulated in a study. It can be any aspect of the environment that is investigated for the purpose of examining its influence on the dependent variable. 2 A dependent variable is measured in a study.
This variable is not manipulated; measurements are empirical (numerical). 3 An experimental or treatment group is the group that receives the experimental treatment or manipulation, and differs from the control group in the dependent variable. 4 A control group is the group is used to produce comparisons. They provide a baseline performance with which to compare the experimental or treatment group’s performance. 5 In a random assignment for a study, each subject has an equal probability of being selected for either the treatment or control group
In a double blind assignment for a study, neither the subject nor the experimenter knows whether the subject is the treatment or control group. Limitations of Research While there has been some recent research regarding the general recruitment, retention, and diversity policies for law enforcement agencies, there are still some limitations that must be acknowledged. First, the research included in this paper only concerns the strategies of United States law enforcement. For the sake of brevity, it is necessary to focus the research on one specific geographic location, particularly Flagler County, Florida.
In the interview with Mr. McClinton, he indicated that he “sells” quality of life when he recruits. He communicates to the potential candidates that Flagler County has a slower pace lifestyle and a lower cost of living than most coastal counties in Florida. It is important to mention the fact that the counties surrounding Flagler also have the same recruiting focal points. Several of the surrounding counties also offer a stipend to qualified candidates who are attending police officer training.
For Flagler to offer any type of stipend, it would need to be added to the budget. The County would need to pass those additions in the budget in order for the stipend to be available. Another potential limitation that exists is a bias either for or against a specific population group based on individualized experiences. Thus, it is important to keep the focus on statistical data and peer-reviewed information to develop widely-accepted trends in an effort to unbiasedly assess the problem from all angles