Recruiting a Diverse Police Force: Insights and Action Items from a 21-City Study

Recruiting a Diverse Police Force: Insights and Action Items from a 21-City Study
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Resources
Recorded on: 2019-09-24
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Recruiting a Diverse Police Force
Unit 2 Workbook: Recruiting a Diverse Police Force
Unit 3 Recording: Recruiting a Diverse Police Force

Diversity is being widely advocated in today’s society. This is no different in the workplace with the belief that it is the differences in views and experiences that allows an organization to be more adaptive, resilient, and successful overall. In the field of law enforcement, diversity equates to better representation of and fostering trust among the members of the community. However, making that diverse pool of law enforcement officers is not as easy as it seems.

To lead this webinar is Evie Monnington-Taylor, a Senior Advisor at the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) North America. She works with various police departments, municipal governments, and state workforce agencies analyzing trends and issues on employment, policing, crime, and justice.

On this course, we’ll be looking at the findings of empirical studies conducted across 21 US jurisdictions on how to attract more and diverse candidates. Topics covered include:

  • An overview of the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), its beginning in the UK to its expansion all over the world, the work they do, and the approach they take.
  • How Behavioral Insights combine behavioral sciences, sociology, and behavioral economics, among others to improve public systems, policy, and procedure.
  • A look into the motivations to join law enforcement by determining the type of messaging that resonates best to the potential candidates in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Southbend, Indiana; and Tacoma, Washington.
    • The Chattanooga study that exhibited how personal and career benefits is a better motivator than social impact, service, or challenge.
    • The Southbend, Indiana findings that revealed identity as a greater motivator than service and challenge in getting more candidates to start and complete their application.
    • The Tacoma results which identified a sense of belonging to be a stronger motivator than challenge and service.
  • Reviewing the application process the candidates have to go through, the roadblocks they encounter hindering successful completion, and the intervention employed to ease the challenges.
    • The LAPD study that identified the Personal History Statement (PHS) as a major reason for application dropouts.
    • Avon and Somerset in the UK discovered that the Situational Judgment Test as the stage where black and minority applicants were likely to drop out and how stereotyping threat influences this.
    • The Chattanooga, Tennessee findings that articulated the Physical Agility Exam as the point where they lose a significant chunk of their applicants.
  • What Randomized Control Trials are (RCT), its main premise, the process, and its importance in evaluating the efficacy of measures and concepts being applied to policing
  • Having an understanding of your target audience by looking into the Washington, DC study that established that a challenge message in recruitment is more likely to discourage people from applying.
  • The Q&A touched on inquiries about:
    • Variety on the most compelling motivator per city.
    • The factors and contexts to consider when testing and how it can influence outcome.
    • The importance of reviewing study findings and retesting periodically.
    • The selection of cities to be a part of the studies.
    • Following up on the success of the candidates after application.

Resources Mentioned During Webinar:

Additional Resources
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