Recruit and Retain Act Hopes To Aid Police Staffing Challenges
Police departments across the country are facing severe staffing challenges, and that news has the attention of U.S Senator Deb Fischer, who, earlier this month, introduced the Recruit and Retain Act.
In the Senator's weekly column Fischer describes the legislation.
"First, the bill would boost officer recruitment opportunities through existing Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants. These DOJ grants can serve as a crucial financial lifeline for law enforcement agencies. Under the bill, they also could be used to reduce costs associated with hiring new officers like background checks, psychological tests, and application related fees. These costs can be prohibitively expensive for police departments with limited resources.
Second, my bill would authorize a new initiative called the Pipeline Partnership Program. This exciting program would encourage collaboration between law enforcement agencies and local elementary schools, post-secondary schools, and institutions of higher learning. Partnerships could take many forms, including mentoring, community liaisons, career or job fairs, and work site visits. The overall goal of the program is twofold: help students potentially interested in a future career in law enforcement and strengthen departments’ local hiring.
Another part of the bill would direct the Government Accountability Office to study police department recruitment challenges and how staffing issues are impacting public safety. Shining a light on these trends will help to raise awareness about the severity of problem."