Transforming Underperforming Smaller Police Agencies into High-Performance Organizations

Many IACP members represent the nearly 18,000 state, local, and tribal agencies in the United States who serve populations of 50,000 or fewer with fewer than 25 sworn officers. These agencies are led by dedicated police executives and their officers who want nothing more than to adequately protect and serve. However, during the recent economic downturn, smaller communities have been hit hardest with economic challenges that compromise that goal and a devastating rise in suburban and rural crime rates. These challenges impact hiring, retention of good officers, purchase of technology and needed equipment, and the programs that bring officers close to the community and schools, such as through school resource officers and crisis intervention reams. Agency personnel are stretched in many cases beyond the breaking point, making retention of quality personnel increasingly challenging.