Recruiting a Diverse Law Enforcement Workforce


The discussion about recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting minorities and females in law enforcement has been going on for the last two decades. Even so, many departments still lack needed diversity. There are many excuses for the lack of success experienced in recruiting and retaining minorities and females in law enforcement. For example, “there are no women interested in or applying for the job,” or “there are very few minorities available in our community or too few minorities are interested in the job.” “Minorities cannot pass certain aspects of the police entry selection program,” or “minorities and females fail out of the academy,” or even “we do not have sufficient funds to devote to the recruitment and retention of minorities and females,” are common excuses. Perhaps the most common excuse: “Our best minorities and females drop out of our selection program because they get a better offer before we can complete our process.”

On their face, these excuses seem to have merit, but, upon closer examination, they do not. They just represent obstacles that take effort to address. These obstacles to recruiting minorities and females can be overcome, but only by understanding what it takes and looking at those who have accomplished it for examples of working models. There are dozens of articles on this subject, and all make significant contributions to this discussion.