THE MAGAZINE

Recruitment, Retention, and Turnover of Police Personnel: Reliable, Practical, and Effective Solutions

By W. Dwayne Orrick; Reviewed by Brian L. Royster, Ed.D

***** Recruitment, Retention, and Turnover of Police Personnel: Reliable, Practical, and Effective Solutions. By W. Dwayne Orrick; published by Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd., www.ccthomas.com (Web); 254 pages; $54.95.

Recruiting in law enforcement has become highly competitive as police departments vie for a limited pool of qualified applicants. Recruiting methods vary and do not always guarantee that the prospective applicant will live up to the expected standards. With this text, author W. Dwayne Orrick has made the recruiting and selection process easier.

This work—a general textbook—is well researched and comprehensive. It is written in a concise and organized manner. Orrick presents numerous chapters associated with police recruiting, department marketing, organizational assessment, and mentoring.

Law enforcement must maintain a professional work force able to keep pace with the pressures placed on every police agency. Moreover, recruiting a diverse and competent work force improves society’s perception of law enforcement.

Orrick stresses that the most important aspect of law enforcement is the officers themselves. However, because of its inherent risks, policing is not a career for everyone. Orrick provides the reader with many of the competencies required for becoming a police officer. In addition, he raises caveats about issues that have occasionally led to lawsuits filed against police agencies for failing to recruit within the proper guidelines.

Recruiting is only half of the challenge, however. Police departments must also be able to retain officers. Inasmuch as policing is looked upon as a “career” in the traditional sense, the turnover rate among police officers has caused police executives to question why the door keeps revolving. Orrick offers detailed solutions on how to keep police officers on the job through motivation, including the important practice of mentoring. The mentoring process is crucial, he argues, for a supportive culture and positive agency identification.

For police departments looking for a blueprint on how to recruit and retain personnel, this text should be required reading. The book will also serve academia in an advanced criminal justice course. The concepts expand on previous recruiting theories, but Orrick has taken many of the best practices in the industry, coupled with his own experiences, and provided a format to be used by law enforcement for years to come.


Reviewer: Brian L. Royster, Ed.D., is a detective sergeant first class with the New Jersey State Police’s Solid Hazardous Waste Unit. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI/Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Command Institute for Law Enforcement Executives. He is a member of ASIS.

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