One major issue that has plagued police forces across the United States is diversity and the inclusion of a multitude of different cultures and populations within the force itself. Police hiring processes have been extensively scrutinized for focusing on white populations rather than black or Hispanic within the general American population. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s in particular, police forces suffered from extensive corruption and personnel shortages, however this continued to prevent the inclusion of other cultures (Police One, 2015). The racism issue still lingers within the overall police force today and there have been no substantial efforts to include equal numbers of different races. This further extends towards the overall judicial system of the United States.
Current police populations not only consist of an unbalanced spread of different races but the recruitment problem has resulted in extensive chaos and tensions between respective police communities and local communities (PE, 2015). Riots throughout the Mid-West and areas such as St Louis and Missouri in general, have resulted in deaths and black and white racism tensions. Whether this is directly related to human resource management issues or other concerns relating to the black and white spread in local towns and communities, it has certainly raised the question of whether police recruiting methods have been fair and highly balanced. Furthermore, many of the police forces found to be receiving threats and violence from the general communities and societies were white with a minimal emphasis on multiculturalism and fair and equal rights for all (Orrick, 2012). Police training mechanisms have also found to be deficient with respect to providing police forces with the knowledge and experiences to be fair and equal. Regardless of the personal circumstances or backgrounds of each police trainee or officer, there needs to be sufficient training that can teach them to provide a better and more ethical service to society overall. Disjointed police programs state by state have also resulted in extensive differences between recruiting processes and disparities between the make up of respective forces.
The implementation of effective punishments in society is also reflective of bias and unbalanced police force populations. Capital punishment in particular is highly representative of the uneven balances that have occurred between respective police forces and populations. For example, up to 90% of prison populations who are on death row are colored or Hispanic, whilst the majority of the police force across the United States is white, at 75% overall (Cordner et al, 2014).
These arguments strongly support the need for interventions and respective changes to the current police force to make it fairer and more equitable. Such interventions need to be implemented quickly and efficiently in order to reduce the associated liabilities such as riots, deaths and the execution of unfair policing tactics (Police One, 2015). These interventions must also focus towards better and more effective recruitment strategies that can target highly suitable officers and those that can provide a worthwhile contribution and this again, opens up an additional debate about the qualifications that police officers must have completed prior to enrolling. In most states, these qualifications are limited to only a high school graduation however in the 21st century, more education may be required to improve multiculturalism within the police force and to ensure that officers possess the knowledge and understanding to execute fair decisions rather than those that involve extensive bias (Cordner et al, 2014).
Interventions and programs that can be implemented to improve recruitment processes include firstly, more comprehensive and highly ethical protocols that can define respective human resource management processes. These can focus on providing recruiters with the required tools and qualifications to determine if a particular individual, regardless of their race or background, is suitable to be executing rules and laws in society (Cordner et al, 2014). Additionally, training and appropriate workshops can be developed that provide police officers with the necessary equity training to identify when particular situations may become racially heated or how to approach individuals who are racially charged or have racial intentions. The majority of the issues concerning police force are associated with the mis-management of issues relating to race and how human resource management divisions can provide a better range of tools and opportunities for future success (Police One, 2015).
Another strategy that could be effectively utilized includes the development of better communication programs within the police force and respective human resource management divisions. Communication is one of the most vital tools within the police force and it can influence the ability of divisions to better recruit appropriate individuals. For example, effective communication tools can allow potential candidates to better inform authorities of their qualifications and whether or not they are suitable (Police One, 2015). They can also ensure that the processes remain fair and that recruiters can choose the right individuals who are ultimately going to respect the barriers and requirements of United States law enforcement.
An academic strategy that could also be implemented includes the development of an effective curriculum in schools that can lead appropriate and competitive individuals towards a worthwhile career in law enforcement (PE, 2015). Academic curriculums can be used as a guide and a way in which recruiters can base their decisions on whether an individual is suitable for a career in law enforcement.
In conclusion, the recommendations and interventions that have been provided in this paper will ultimately lead towards a fairer and more equitable police force in the future. Furthermore, police forces need to recognize the significance of diversity and multiculturalism in promoting change, development and prosperity currently and in the future.
- Cordner, G et al. (2014). Research in Brief: Human Resource Issues Faced by Small and Large Agencies. The Police Chief, Retrieved from http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=3426&issue_id=32014 Accessed on 16th November 2015.
- Orrick, D. (2012). Best Practices Guide. International Association of Chiefs of Police, Retrieved from http://www.theiacp.org/portals/0/pdfs/bp-recruitment.pdf Accessed on 16th November 2015.
- PE. (2015). Policing Equity. Center For Policing Equity – UCLA, Retrieved from http://cpe.psych.ucla.edu/ Accessed on 16th November 2015.
- Police One. (2015). Human Resources. Police One, Retrieved from http://www.policeone.com/police-products/human-resources/ Accessed on 16thNovember 2015.