Police Personnel Retention Challenges: Literature Review and Recommendations

The challenge of recruiting and hiring quality personnel has emerged as a critical problem for today’s law enforcement agencies.1 The roots of the current law enforcement officer recruitment movement were formed with the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which established the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) to answer policy makers’ questions on police staffing issues.2 The program included a U.S. federal government initiative to add 100,000 sworn officers to law enforcement agencies through grant funding. Since that time, the U.S. Congress has acknowledged the continued need for recruits in law enforcement agencies, leading to the further appropriation of $1 billion in 2009 to continue the grants that help agencies increase their workforce levels, thus enabling cities and towns who would not typically be able to recruit, hire, and train such a large cohort of new officers to meet their workforce needs.