How to Attracting Police Applicants — Especially Today

How would you go about attracting the best police candidates to your city and police department?

Here are some examples:

Join the Domestic Peace Corps

“We are looking for college graduates who want to make a significant contribution to society by helping build a model organization of police professionalism. We want gentle men (sic) who are humanitarian, ethical, knowledgeable, and have a commitment to making our system of justice all that it should be…”

— Burnsville, MN Police Department, 1969.

Join the Other Peace Corps

— Madison, Wisconsin PD, 1973 (Large advertising billboard with a phone number).

Both ads worked. Burnsville continues to hire to this day only men and women with 4-year college degrees. They remain one of the few police departments in America (1%) which require a baccalaureate degree for police applicants.

Madison, Wisconsin, while not requiring a baccalaureate degree, has almost exclusively hired college graduates since 1973 paying 18% for baccalaureate degrees and 23% for new officers holding a master’s or law degree.

In my opinion, college graduates, with various academic majors, make the best police officers. Not just those with criminal justice majors, but a range of other academic concentrations.

College-educated cops bring “smarts” to policing! They are in the best position today to re-imagine democratic policing and lead their departments forward .

A Suggested Recruiting Ad for Today:

Do Police Upset You?

Are you upset by what you see many police officers doing today? Did the murder of George Floyd deeply concern you? Are you worried about the militarization of our nation’s police? Well, DO something: Join a progressive police department like ours!

Prepare yourself to lead fellow police officers forward in the coming decade. This is your opportunity to stand up for America and our values of having our police be defenders of our Constitution, emotionally intelligent, smart, college-educated, compassionate problem-solvers, and committed to working closely, respectfully, and intimately with the people they serve.

If this is you, we look forward to receiving your application.

— Your City Police Department.


  1. There should be a similar ad for joining the DA office as well. I would add “Are you a strong believer in the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights and willing to defend it in spite of how you feel about it personally?


  2. If the applicant focuses on catching bad guys that doesn’t match your vision. How does the applicant feel about helping a barfing drunk into the squad car to get them to detox and you know they will keep on barfing in the car and you are driving this car to the end of your shift?


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