California Police Chief- Fall 2013 CPCA_2019_Spring Magazine- FINAL - Page 16

OUT OF BOX RECRUITMENT EFFORTS OF THE CARLSBAD POLICE DEPARTMENT By Lt. Jeff Smith and Capt. P. Pascual The recruitment of qualified applicants in law enforcement has been identified as a constant struggle within the industry. For many of us sitting around the recruitment table, the view on how employment is conducted within our individual agencies requires a new perspective. A paradigm shift from the traditional pool of candidates, to a fresh business model approach from the private sector by analyzing how we are applying the same business acumen in our recruiting practices. As important is the ability to leverage achievements between developing successful long-term employees with the needs of millennials to satisfy their necessity for technology, personal, financial and professional success. I have listed some of the ideas, philosophies and new approaches to recruitment the Carlsbad Police Department has incorporated in their efforts over the last five years. • HIRE FOR CHARACTER, TRAIN FOR SKILL. A concept originally identified during my attendance at a Southwest Airlines one day Culture Connections conference, but reflective of a new way of looking at applicants interested in a law enforcement career. As we all frequently know, the hiring process for law enforcement is appropriately filled with many areas where we may identify unsuitable applicants for employment. Despite this, our current hiring standards are riddled with absolutes when flexibility should be utilized. Can we adapt to the applicant’s life experience as a direct reflection of their character, or conversely an honest experience based on poor judgement by a young adult? Second are our FTO programs designed to washout these same recruits, or train them for success. The recruitment and the field training phase for a new employee should have a clear shared goal of identifying, training and developing successful long-term police employees, and not one of opposing interests. • A FUTURE TACTICAL ATHLETE. Education is a good indicator for success in today’s law enforcement profession. At the root of a college athlete, they enjoy a team environment. They understand the necessity to work hard, to develop fundamentals, and are required to problem solve frequently in a dynamic environment. More importantly they often understand 16 California Police Chief | www.californiapolicechiefs.org the need to serve something greater than themselves in a team atmosphere. Their experiences and educational challenges faced by college athletes directly reflect the character and qualities law enforcement are looking for as it applies to the service to our community. • DEPARTMENT MINDSET. The best recruitment tool we have today is our individual employees. They are the ones who must do the work every day. They are the ones who are best suited to engage these future applicants, and future employees about the real working world of law enforcement within our individual departments. They can speak candidly about our law enforcement culture, how technology is used, the work environment from shifts to supervision, and the true level of service and impact we have in the communities we serve. • OUT OF STATE LATERAL POLICE OFFICERS. The Carlsbad Police Department has hired a small pool of out of state lateral police officers and lateral dispatchers during the last 5 years. The value in these potential applicants has been their tenured law enforcement experience, and their “plug and play” operability they possess within our organization. The challenge has been identifying applicants who share our Department’s philosophy of service, their ability to adapt to a new law enforcement culture,