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Police agencies around the nation are facing a shortage of officers, especially women and minorities. The chief factors among the low recruitment from these two social groups are:
- Policing does not seem like a viable culture, esp. for women (advertisements are aimed at showing police officers to be action-oriented heroes, rather than what they actually do).
- Police is considered to be more hostile to minorities (larger fraction of arrests and police shooting incidents take place involving minority groups)
- Police does not have the right connection or rapport with the communities.
Efforts are being carried out to ameliorate these concerns and increase the number of recruitment from minorities and females. One of the efforts involves appealing directly to these groups rather than a common advertisement. For this, a women specific department recruiting webpage has been setup (San Jose Police Department, Idaho State Police and California Highway Patrol). Career fairs for women and minorities have also been successful and not only increased the percentage of minorities and women in the class, but also provided a stronger applicant base. Tuscon Police Department had 450 women attendees in the career fair and the number of female recruits went from 10% to 20% in two classes; of which 47% were minorities. Albuquerque police department has a similar success story. Another effort is in the direction of targeted recruiting by focusing on places women and minorities usually visit (be it the gym, the supermarket, minority specific associations, etc.). Enhancement of public trust (for recruitment and selection of minorities and women) is another strategy that being pursued through a collaborative approach at Police Department in Dayton, Ohio and Lexington, Kentucky.
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