Question Four:

 Recruitment, selection, and retention of competent and successful law enforcement officers is critical for a community to thrive and for citizens to feel safe in their City. Further, an inclusive and diverse police department that reflects the community leads to increased trust, cooperation, and transparency. As a candidate for Norfolk Police Chief, what experience would you bring in successful recruitment, selection, and retention of police officers and what ideas would you have to build on that experience to create a successful program in Norfolk since City leaders are very interested in creative initiatives to attract qualified candidates and ensure their longevity in the Department.

Candidate C Answer: 

Another top priority as the newly selected Police Chief, will be to stabilize the workforce by retaining our police officers. Unfortunately, staffing challenges persist throughout the nation however, some departments are having successes in retaining their staff and recruiting new police candidates. These departments have a few things in common and [RETRACTED] has also experienced some wins in our recruiting efforts. Over the pas [RETRACTED] years, city leadership has supported the implementation of a defined step pay plan, signing bonuses for new recruits and sworn later transfers, preferred assignment opportunities, and funding for the Professional Development Program. In addition to the above, I will request support from City Leadership for the following strategies to address retention and recruitment for NPD.

Streamlined application process for out-of-town candidates

Focused on Veteran recruiting with Skill Bridge through the Virginia Department of Veteran Services Referral bouses for our NPD officers

Social Media & Marketing campaigns

Advancing women in policing through the 30X30 Initiative Option 5 DCJS Academy for out of state certified officers

Incentives such as stipends for college degrees and bilingual officers

Data driven patrol shift strategy- four, 10-hour days, no rotating shift/days off for 6 mos.

Partnership with local higher education institutions for college credits upon completion of the police academy and continuing education opportunities

The value of a diverse Police Department cannot be overstated. Traditionally, police departments have struggled with recruiting minority candidates to join our profession. More recently the national environment and sentiment about law enforcement has created hesitancy on behalf of all potential candidates, but more specifically our potential minority candidates. NPD cannot let this discourage us from thinking outside of the traditional recruiting model and find ways to attract and retain officers who reflect the community we serve. The City of Norfolk's demographics are slightly different than [RETRACTED] with African Americans making up approximately 40% of the population, while the police department is comprised of approximately 19% African American police officers. It is my belief that our best recruiters are our own police officers, and we need to capitalize on their ability to influence others to join the department. In order for this to occur, officers and especially minority officers, need to know they are valued and supported by their leadership. As the Chief, I will ensure equitable opportunities for preferred assignments and promotions along with fairness in our internal processes. Additionally, I will seek support from our communities of color, business partners, faith-based organizations, and educational institutions to enhance our recruiting opportunities.

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