Maybe not literally “you”, but there is a national crisis in recruiting for our law enforcement agencies. According to Jesse Williams, New Mexico State Police Captain, “We have 650 officers now with 17 recruits in the academy. With retirements, resignations and terminations, we lose three to four officers every month, so we’re just treading water.”
Imagine what our society is going to be like if we’re not able to demonstrate the rewards of a career in law enforcement.
The primary group we need to convince: millennials. Not exactly known as the law and order generation, millennials are famous for prioritizing experiences over material things. They have also grown into their adulthood in a “gig” economy while attaining more college degrees than any generation prior. Couple this with more than 10 hours of screen time filled with more than 5,000 advertisements a day and we start to understand the problem.
The way to solve this problem? Word of mouth. The most successful candidates are referrals from existing and retired officers. We created the Join NMSP mobile website to tell the story visually, showing the range of career options, interviews with officers, and step-by-step help through the process.
“It’s a challenge to show the positive things we do,” Williams said. “The website helps us humanize the police force to show that officers are normal guys and gals. They wear uniforms, but they’re people with heartbeats behind the badges.”
Learning from our experience with New Mexico State Police, we’ve now launched a recruiting website for the Bernalillo Metropolitan Detention Center. “Recruiters can pull up the website right on their phones, or someone at home thinking about becoming a corrections officer can pull it up and get a wealth of information,” said MDC spokeswoman Candace Hopkins.
We’ve gotten some great press for our efforts, too: check out the article in the Albuquerque Journal. As I say in the article, other than the Bernalillo Country Sheriff and the Beverly Hills PD, we haven’t found a law enforcement agency in the country that isn’t facing significant recruiting challenges. Learn more about how we apply our marketing expertise to the challenge of Law Enforcement Recruiting.
All the best,