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Comparative Study of Factors Influencing Police Recruitment

NCJ Number
Journal of Police Science and Administration Volume: 16 Issue: 3 Dated: (September 1988) Pages: 168-176
H R Slater; M Reiser
Date Published
9 pages
Factors motivating applicants to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) were studied in 1987.
Questionnaires were administered to four recruit classes in training at the police academy. Of 157 subjects, 119 were male and 38 were female. The ethnic composition of the sample was 29 Black, 43 Hispanic, 66 Caucasian, 3 American Indian, and 3 Other. Most recruits reported they decided to become police officers several years prior to entry into the academy. When asked what other professions or occupations they considered, law enforcement and professional careers accounted for the largest number of responses. Variety and responsible or meaningful work were strong motivating factors for selecting police work as a career, followed by serving the public, adventure, security, and pay. More females chose variety than males, while retirement was a more important factor to males than to females. Recruits indicated that police officers and friends or relatives were the most important sources of information about available positions in the LAPD. The LAPD's athletic program was a major factor in the decision to become a police officer. Study results suggest that it may be beneficial to increase police recruitment efforts at high school and college levels and to emphasize the professional aspects of law enforcement. 2 references, 18 tables.


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