I have written and spoken about law enforcement recruiting for some time and I haven’t done it by choice. I watched both inside an agency and now outside just how wrong we are on the issue. Don’t get me wrong, cops today tend to be like the real like the real life MacGyver, able to do just about anything good enough. The problem is that when it comes to the issue of recruiting, good enough is clearly not cutting it.

The career of a law enforcement professional may span from patrol to policy to training and technology and for the most part, we adapt and learn pretty well. The problem is that our profession has never had to actually recruit so even though many of us think we are doing the job, in many instances it just isn’t working.

There are several red flags that should tell us this but we either aren’t paying attention or not sure what to do next. That is where Doug Larsen and Jake Peters come in.

I understand that police recruiting may not be your job, passion, or concern but this interview is about as good as it gets on the issue and completely exposes some of the shortcomings our profession has experienced in recent years.

Here is the summary and it should provide some comfort on the issue of recruiting if leaders can adopt some of the ideas and processes discussed:

  • Recruiting is a high level skill that we have never had to actually do until now.
  • Marketing companies along with their websites and videos will not help recruiting but they do play a role in the processes discussed.
  • There must be a paradigm shift in how police recruiters work.
    You can place an actual cost per applicant and it’s not what you have been told.
  • Not only are the processes not difficult but they are not expensive.


I know recruiting may not be your thing but I believe it should matter to every law enforcement professional and especially to leaders. Staffing must be addressed and leaders must make the correct decisions or our agencies face peril like we have never seen before.

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