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.
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 our progressive police department as we re-imagine our role in today’s society!
Prepare yourself to lead fellow police officers forward in the coming decade. This is your opportunity to stand up for America and be a police officer who serves to defend our Constitution, is emotionally intelligent, a smart, college-educated, compassionate problem-solver, and committed to working closely and respectfully with the people you serve.
If this is who you are and what you want to be, we look forward to receiving your application and resume.
I served over 20 years as the chief of police in Madison (WI), four years as chief of the Burnsville (MN) Police Department, and before that as a police officer in Edina (MN) and the City of Minneapolis. I hold graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and Edgewood College in Madison. I have written many articles over my years as a police leader. After retiring from the police department, I answered a call to ministry, attended seminary, and was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. After 25 years leading two Episcopal Churches in Portage and North Lake, Wisconsin, I now serve as Associate Pastor in a growing, dynamic, and Spirit-filled Lutheran congregation in nearby Mazomanie.
View all posts by David Couper