Department of Justice Releases Two Reports on Law Enforcement Recruitment and Hiring in the 21st Century

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Shannon Long
(202) 514-2064

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today announced the release of two reports summarizing two Fall 2016 Emerging Issues forums that focused on law enforcement hiring and recruitment in the 21st century. The forums were conducted as a result of a convening hosted by President Obama in July 2016 in which members of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing met with law enforcement leaders and civil rights advocates. In that convening, the President and the participants stressed that further discussions were needed to focus on recruiting for a diverse workplace, and on the challenges, often during the hiring process, that agencies experience in making that a reality.

The first report, Law Enforcement Recruitment for the 21st Century, provides insight from law enforcement professionals, representatives from civil rights groups, media and advertising executives, researchers, and university students who gathered to discuss challenges and suggested improvements to current practices in law enforcement recruitment. The forum, which was hosted in partnership with Strategic Applications International (SAI) in August, resulted in a number of action steps and recommendations for recruiting officials.

The second report, Hiring the 21st Century Law Enforcement Officer: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies for Success, offers key input from law enforcement executives, labor representatives, human resources professionals, academic experts, and others on how to update the hiring process to attract new types of candidates during this challenging time in law enforcement. Facilitated by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in September, forum participants not only identified many of the difficulties that law enforcement agencies face in hiring, but also provided recommendations to help overcome those challenges.

“Law enforcement recruitment and hiring was a major theme of the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis. “The recruitment and hiring of a qualified, diverse workforce is the requisite foundation for 21st Century Policing. I applaud the participants of both forums for their candid feedback about policies and practices that not only affect law enforcement officers directly, but also the communities they serve. I highly recommend both reports to law enforcement agencies around the country.”

Law Enforcement Recruitment for the 21st Century is available here:

Hiring the 21st Century Law Enforcement Officer: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies for Success is available here:

The COPS Office, headed by Director Ronald Davis, is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 129,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance.

For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit