The Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the "Recovery Act"), provides the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with funding for grants to assist State, local and tribal law enforcement (including support for hiring), to combat violence against women, to fight internet crimes against children, to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, to assist victims of crime, and to support youth mentoring. DOJ is committed to working with national, State, local and tribal partnerships to ensure this funding invests in the American workforce.
Specifically, the National Institute of Justice is making this award for an update to the current understanding of how the police sector of the American criminal justice system engages in human resource planning; that is, how it determines the number and types of positions that are needed, how it determines the numbers and kinds of people needed to fill those positions, and then how it designs and implements personnel practices (recruiting, testing, selecting, training, etc.) in order to secure, prepare, and retain the people it needs. The proposed study will employ a mix of methods to gather data about the current state of police human resource planning. First, a national stratified random sample survey of law enforcement agencies will be adminstered. This phase of the project replicates a prior survey administered in 1979 as part of the National Manpower Planning Development Project. Second, a national random sample survey of criminal justice educators will be conducted aimed at determining higher education's stance toward employment focused on criminal justice education. Finally, a convenience sample survey of criminal justice students from five universities will explore the career orientations and dispositions of today's emerging workforce. In-depth case studies will be prepared on a purposive convenience sample of 10 law enforcement agencies. These agencies will be selected based on their implementation of specific human resource practices (e.g., college degree requirement, close working relationship with colleges/universities, national recruiting, careful selection validation) and/or their willingness to provide detailed data on recruitment, hiring, retention, turnover, etc. The data gathered during the proposed study will help answer the kinds of questions posed by NIJ in its solicitation. The study will determine whether specific human resource planning practices are more common or less common than was true in the police field in 1979. It will also reveal whether the impact of such factors as economic conditions, civil service, and unions on police human resource decisions and planning has changed over the past 30 years. In addition, the study will gather data on the views of college faculty and police executives on the role that criminal justice education plays, could play, and/or should play in preparing students for police employment. Surveys of college students will help determine whether the career orientations and dispositions of the next generation of American police officers differ significantly from those of prior generations. Finally, the case studies will support exploration and documentation of very specific human resource issues, such as the use of lateral entry, the degree to which basic police training provides work-ready employees, strategies used by agencies that have been more successful than others in diversifying their workforces, methods used to effectively accomplish the technical but quite important processes of job analysis and selection validation, etc.