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 .