Recruitment and Selection ofCommunity Policing Officers:Expanding the Applicant Pool and Identifying More Suitable Recruits
Coutts, Larry M., Schneider, Frank W., Johnson, Andrew, McLeod, Paul, CanadianJournal of Police and Security Services
This research focuses on developing strategies for the more effective recruitment andselection of community policing (CP) officers. University students (N = 178) revieweddescriptions of the law enforcement policing (LEP) and (CP) models. After rating eachmodel on several evaluative criteria, one-half of the participants completed a measure ofpersonality (Neo Personality Inventory; Costa & McCrae, 1992), while the other halfcompleted a measure of vocational interest type (Self-Directed Search; Holland, Powell &Fritzsche, 1997). The dimensions of personality and vocational interest type werecorrelated with the ratings of the models. The ratings of the models supported thehypotheses that students would equate extant policing with LEP, prefer to work under CP,and experience increased interest in a career in policing once informed of the emergence ofCP. These results were interpreted as suggesting that if the public were better informedabout CP, the police would attract a higher number of job applicants. In addition to theabove, correlational analyses revealed some conceptually meaningful relationships amongthe individual difference variables and the evaluations of the models. These results wereinterpreted as suggesting the possibility of selecting recruits whose personal characteristicsrepresent a good fit with CP. Changing from a traditional law enforcement policing (LEP) model to a communitypolicing (CP) model has been a major objective of North American police organizationssince the 1980s (Chacko & Nancoo, 1993; Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux, 1990). It may beargued, however, that this change requires adopting a new philosophy and strategy ofpolicing. For example, whereas the LEP model is based on a highly centralizedorganizational structure, is incident driven, and emphasizes reactive response incombating crime, the CP model is more organizationally decentralized, proactive, andentails close police-community partnerships in the identification, analysis, and solution oflocal crime and disorder problems (Leighton, 1994; Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux, 1990)....
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