Recruiting the 21st Century Police Officer: Successes, Challenges and Lessons Learned

Recruiting the 21st Century Police Officer: Successes, Challenges and Lessons Learned
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-11-10
Unit 1Slide Deck: Recruiting the 21st Century Police Officer
Unit 2Transcript: Recruiting the 21st Century Police Officer
Unit 3Workbook: Recruiting the 21st Century Police Officer
Unit 4Recording: Recruiting the 21st Century Police Officer

These days, recruiting for roles within the Police Department is quite the task. It requires agencies to have an awareness of what exactly they’re looking for, and what the potential candidates are also looking for to become interested in the role and motivated once recruited. Finding the 21st Century Police Officer does not end in recruitment and requires engagement throughout the career or even beyond.

This session’s speakers are Officer Anthony Norman, Sergeant Eric Knutson, and Officer Jeannette Dominguez. Officer Norman is a Denver native who is serving the Denver Police Department as a police officer assigned to recruiting. Sergeant Knutson has been with the Denver PD for 16 years assigned in various roles and is currently with the Training Academy overseeing recruitment and training. Finally, Officer Dominguez is championing diversity at the Denver PD assisting recruits.

Specifics discussed include:

  • Denver Police Department’s recruitment practices from career fairs to traditional advertising in newspapers, radio, and movies.
  • The more current strategies they’re employing using the online space to target recruitment via Facebook, Zip Recruiter, Workable interest forms, and recruitment videos.
  • The value of the in-person events that they’re conducting through face-to-face meetings, fora, open house events, pre-academy programs, and orientations.
  • The current challenges that they’re facing and how they’re addressing this.
    • The process: Outdated test that can only be conducted in one location and a lengthy process.
    • Qualifications for the candidates zeroing in on integrity and marijuana standards.
  • The profile of the 21st Century Officer that the Denver PD is looking for.
  • Denver PD’s recruitment for career success strategy that screens for character then trains for skills and the PTO model that highlights self-evaluation and motivation.
  • Character screening considerations which aid the Denver Civil Service Commission to determine an individual’s suitability for the position.
    • Congruence to Denver PD’s core values of integrity, courage, and service.
    • The eight ethical principles based on the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative.
    • Emotional intelligence which looks into an individual’s intra- and inter-personal awareness and management.
    • Understanding the concept and awareness of one’s implicit biases.
  • Focusing on the viability aspect of the ethical principles through programs that promote holistic wellness.
  • The social justice issues that pose challenges to law enforcement recruitment efforts.
  • Secondary recruitment initiatives from the Denver PD that aim to spark interest in the profession, identify advocates and engage the community.
  • Denver PD’s Women Community Academy which serves as the gateway to encourage women’s involvement in policing and used as a model to foster diversity.

Points raised in the Q&A are about:

  • The outcomes of the change in the recruitment video.
  • Learning Facebook ads.
  • Specific efforts to increase recruitment of women in policing.



Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “The webinar touched on good areas concerning what recruiting looks like in the current climate of Law Enforcement.” — Steven
  • “Very informative about the details of other agencies recruiting procedures. would like to see more on this specific topic!” — Denise
  • “As a new recruiter, there were a lot of things mentioned that would be useful in trying to improve on getting the right applicants.” — Evelyn
  • “The most valuable thing shared …strategies that worked and stats to prove it worked.” — Gwen
  • “I loved seeing the differences between the 2014 recruiting video and the current video as well as the discussion on the Women’s Community Academy as an attempt to recruit more women.” — Lauren
  • “We have a lot of the right ideas, but need support for implementation! Very impressed with DPD’s model and would love to learn more!” — Suzanne
  • “Very innovative! I like how they roll emotional intelligence into the process. Very cutting edge especially dealing with my agency! Great job!” — Todd


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