Where can you go if you’re a veteran looking for a job that will leverage your hard-won skills? Who can you talk to and find out first-hand what the day-to-day life of a police officer is like? How do you, as an employer, reach a pool of qualified candidates to recruit the best and brightest to advance community policing in your agency?
Meet the new DiscoverPolicing.org—revised, launched, and ready to serve your employment needs, maintaining its status both as the official career center of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and as a nationwide police recruitment and career exploration resource. Supported by funding from the COPS Office and Bureau of Justice Assistance,1 DiscoverPolicing.org is on track to become the nation’s premier resource for information and resources on careers in policing.
DiscoverPolicing.org sidesteps stereotypes of policing typically portrayed in the media, seeking to educate jobseekers about the different types of policing career paths available, and moreover, attract individuals whose professional characteristics and goals most closely match those in demand by police agencies. Through personnel profiles, success stories, and videos, DiscoverPolicing.org paints a broader picture of what policing is all about and what type of individual might be drawn to the profession. Agencies and educators alike will appreciate the free presentations, brochures, and posters available for marketing the careers in policing.
For instance, many veterans may not realize that their skills are often highly sought in the domestic policing arena, or may not know how to find police agencies with open positions that match their interests. The Military Veteran page, stating “Military service can be a perfect entrance into a law enforcement career,” lists some of the skills that can make policing a viable career for a military veteran in transition. By using the jobseekers page and the state-specific resources, veterans can connect with local recruiters looking for their particular skillset and professional goals.
But what if you don’t know where to start? Whether you are a veteran, student, or looking for a career change, IACP has just launched a mentoring center that can help prospective recruits learn more about policing as a career and get practical insight into the hiring process directly from experienced police personnel. The ability to network online and “Discover Policing” is available from this investigatory stage through hiring and beyond (you can also become a mentor).
Also new are the Community Policing pages, which are aligned with the philosophy’s three tenets: partnerships, problem solving, and organizational change. Prospective candidates can learn about the skills and abilities sought by employers looking to hire in the spirit of service. They can also find recommendations on how to begin building up their qualifications to work in an agency that operates in a community policing environment, maybe by volunteering or taking one of the many community policing courses offered through the COPS Office Community Policing Learning Portal.
The Discover Policing Career Center aggregates postings from several job sites and serves as a hub for employers who are looking to hire using the resume database. Click on one of the many jobs posted on the Career Center, and you’ll see the banners “Post your resume” and “Let employers find you” flash across the screen, followed by information on the position’s minimum requirements, how to submit an application, eligibility factors, required Veteran’s Preference documentation (if applicable), testing information, and other information relevant to applying for the job.
By securing a good match between candidates and employers that are based on realistic expectations of the profession, jobseekers can benefit by finding a fulfilling career and employers can cut down on the time and expense of replacing employees lost to attrition. Communities stand to reap benefits from a good match as well, as they enjoy police services provided by agencies that were successful in attracting the 'right person for the job.' Learn more and explore at the new DiscoverPolicing.org.
Debra R. Cohen McCullough, Ph.D.
Senior Analyst, The COPS Office