SHOT Show: Police Officers Explain Why Millennials Make Terrible Cops

Discussion in 'Police News Articles' started by kwflatbed, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed Subscribing Member MC1+MC2 +MC3 109K+Poster

    SHOT Show: Police Officers Explain Why Millennials Make Terrible Cops

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    by Kerry Picket16 Jan 20141264post a comment
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    Police departments across the country are struggling with staffing shortages as a result of a weak economy, hiring freezes, furloughs, layoffs, and cutbacks to salaries, benefits, and retirement incentives.

    According to Police Chief Magazine, “Such difficulties spurred 7,272 applications to the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, requesting $8.3 billion to support more than 39,000 sworn-officer positions. Altogether, both the supply of and demand for qualified officers are changing in a time of increasing attrition, expanding law enforcement responsibilities, and decreasing resources.” The problem is not new, either. The Anniston Star reported in December 2013:
    Since the late 1990s the nation has seen a decrease in the number of people interested in becoming police officers. A 2006 article on police officer recruitment published in Police Chief Magazine said an estimated 80 percent of the nation's 17,000 law enforcement agencies had positions they could not fill. A separate report, Hiring and Keeping Police Officers, published in 2004 by the National Institute of Justice said 20 percent of agencies experienced officer weakness as a result of recruitment and fiscal problems.​
    One particular question being discussed by the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) at the annual National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas this year is how local law enforcement can recruit and retain quality individuals to their departments' SWAT teams. An NTOA seminar on this question was well attended by SWAT team officers from all over the country, from cities including Chicago, Santa Barbara, Washington D.C., and Palm Beach.
    As baby-boomers in departments look toward retirement, issues surrounding differences among officers who grew up as Generation X-ers or Millennials appear to be surfacing. Veteran SWAT officers within the group of attendees say that too many new recruits look at SWAT as a “stepping stone” or “résumé builder” to other areas of law enforcement, so finding new recruits who are willing to stay on SWAT teams for the long haul is becoming more difficult.
    “Instead of having 20 people staying there 20 years, you have people stay there five to seven years,” said Captain Ed Allen, NTOA Eastern Region Director and Instructor.
    Additionally, new recruits are likely to be college graduates with a different mindset than their predecessors of 20 to 45 years ago. Attendees in the class gave their views on recruits in their early 20s who enter police departments with college degrees.
    “What’s gone is police departments looking for the defenseman on the hockey team – the rough guy who can prepare to visit violence [on] a bad guy who would do us harm... [replaced by] the university graduate and all who comes with his entitled attitude,” said one officer.
    Another claimed, “These news guys... come in that say, ‘I’m in here for just three to five years,’ and they check the box and they go on to do something else.”
    “We got lawyers. We got Ph.Ds. We got everything but police officers. They can’t clear a corner. You tell them, 'Get out of the squad car and go clear the corner;' but they can recite to you a formula – you know, Starling’s law for cardiac help or something,” said one attendee.
    He added, “But I think the worse thing we did was that we focused so much on law enforcement getting college degrees to move up that the type-A personalities out there in the streets kicking people’s asses and locking people up – well, they had to go to court. They didn’t have a lot of time to work on their master's.”
    Allen reminded the class it was important for older officers to properly teach new recruits how they can improve on skill sets, discipline, and leadership as well as learn from recruits themselves, considering the technological skill set advantage young recruits have over their predecessors.
    However, Allen does caution that some potential recruits may not have what it takes to break out of the stereotype of their generation and become law enforcement officers. Referencing the children of “helicopter parents,” Allen recounted a meeting he had with one young man.
    “I got this kid who wants to be in law enforcement. He wants to go get his degree, but he wants to meet me first.” Allen continues, “So he comes to my office; and as he walks in the door, this shadow is right behind him – his mom. (the room laughs) He was about to get into the law profession. He’s a freshman in college and he wanted to come meet us – with his manager.”
    Allen emphasized, however, that there are recruits who need to be told their weaknesses straight out but should also be reassured that others can work with them to eradicate such faults.
    Daytona Beach law enforcement training specialist David Agata, who has more than 20 years of law enforcement background, agrees with the sentiment of the class attendees, telling Breitbart News that some new recruits in law enforcement today cannot even tell him why they want to be police officers.
    Agata says that too many just “want to put the uniform on and work the street,” learning along the way. “And these kids say, 'Hey, why should I put a uniform on? I’m smart. I need to throttle back,'” he says.
    “The challenge is we got a mindset that says, 'I don’t need to pay the price to get to where I need to go,' or they really don’t understand the job that they really have to do. Why? Because they haven’t done their homework,” Agata explains.
    “Again, we have all this great technology, but I got a kid. He can probably text 250 words a minute, but can they write a report? Do they actually know what it is to educate? Can you tell me what your authority is? Can you tell me how to apply your authority? Can you tell me what levels of force would be applicable and proper while doing that? And then, what are we offering them?”
    Other recruiting issues facing police departments are competition with the local fire departments, competition with nearby localities, and the privatization of law enforcement.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Govern...rs-Explain-Why-Millennials-Make-Terrible-Cops
     
  2. Joel98

    Joel98 MassCops Member

    I agree with some of this and I disagree with some of it.

    I think that requiring college degrees has been a step in the right direction, it makes for better education and professionalism.

    Also, in my personal experience I haven't noticed people become officers for 5-7 years and then leave for something else outside of law enforcement. They might lateral after a few years to another department, however I haven't seen large numbers of people become officers for a few years, just to check off the box on their résumé, and then leave for something else. I don't know where the writer of this article gets her facts.
     
  3. Herrdoktor

    Herrdoktor MassCops Member

    Gotta love broad generalizations when it comes to talking about young people.

    Anyone (doesn't matter their age or background) who wants to get into law enforcement faces low pay, disappearing benefits, law suits, technology that watches your every move on the street and a population that is weary of the government. No wonder recruitment numbers are down in most parts of the country. :rolleyes:
     
    LGriffin, pahapoika, GARDA and 3 others like this.
  4. BxDetSgt

    BxDetSgt MassCops Member

    He was talking about guys leaving details after 5 to 7 years and taking thier experience with them. SWAT/Detectives etc should be careers, not resume builders for chiefs to say "I was there". I agree with that. The problem could be solved with promotion tracks through specialties.
     
    RodneyFarva likes this.
  5. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    The Essex County Sheriff did/does a class at Plymouth Training academy on this very subject.

    The hard line generation of WWII that trained the baby boomers are gone and now the boomers are retiring. What's left is a soft generation not interested in rolling around the gutter with drunks or trying to stay awake on midnights.

    The kids coming home from the war have their shit together, but allot of the young guys don't have the stomach for law enforcement
     
    zm88 and GARDA like this.
  6. Killjoy

    Killjoy Zombie Hunter

    This. A trend I've noticed in many new officers. Policing is paternal by nature and you don't get to "skip" hard-won experience.
     
    LGriffin likes this.
  7. HuskyH-2

    HuskyH-2 G-Rap made me do it!

    I was going to go on a rant, but ill just leave it that this article is comprised overwhelming with rhetoric and gross generalizations.
     
  8. Herrdoktor

    Herrdoktor MassCops Member

    The 'hard line generation' of WW2 would 'zipper' a guy's and throw him in a cell. Those days are over.

    Law enforcement has changed so much in the past 20 years (forget 30-50 years ago) that you need a different type of person to do the job.

    The constant realization that you are being watched in everything you do is what is the most jarring part of this job for young officers. (doesn't matter if they are military or civilian background)
     
    pahapoika likes this.
  9. GARDA

    GARDA Subscribing Member

    I'll keep my rant focused on the above^^.

    We all have an operational shelf-life. It's a tall enough order just to get decent numbers to show up for competitive SWAT tryouts, let alone expect 5-7 good, injury-free years out of them, never-mind "20 people staying there 20 years". LOL.

    By the age it takes most LE candidates to get on the job, followed by them having to pay their dues before getting any bite at such an assignment, they are what... Maybe 30?

    Now consider the position's need for mature, sound, good decision makers along with an extreme fitness-level required, crazy-good-marksmanship-proficiency-standards, the-whole-being-on-call 24/7/365, the-extraordinary-family-support-needed, and a-constant-cycle-of-being-exposed-to-stress-and-danger-which-is-rarely-seen-solely-on-patrol...

    To put it bluntly, 20 years in such an environment is an anomaly and not the norm.

    I'm just glad that my guns don't know how old I am, even if my body all-too-painfully does.
     
    Hush, frank and Dan Stark like this.
  10. mpd61

    mpd61 Federal Auxiliary Police

    I'll be 53 on Friday, and I'm holding together OK physically, but after more than twenty years of this......my brain hurts!!!!!:confused:
     
    BxDetSgt and LGriffin like this.
  11. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    Your right, i'm all done :) It's time for the youngsters to take over. Be safe out there :cool:
     
  12. LGriffin

    LGriffin Supporting Member

    The zipper was a deterrent.
    What's going on now is a failure.
    Fancy Boots coming out of the academy with a big attitude aren't going to have an affect on the recidivist who knows the courts are impotent but nobody wants a second zipper.
     
  13. BxDetSgt

    BxDetSgt MassCops Member

    You can still do the job while being watched, we all found a way to do it. The new generation of cops however are trained to be scared, not trained to take action, and that is a bad and dangerous precedent. If you go to work afraid of doing your job, you will not do it well. When you are trained in how to do it, confident you will be backed up in your decisions, and not afraid of being questioned about your decisions, you will do the job well. The first two fears are institutional and are the responsibility of the agency and the supervisors. The last is on the individual. You can not do this job without having your judgement questioned, it is going to happen. If you are an active cop you also WILL get in trouble from time to time. Somtimes you end up "taking one for the team" and somtime you get screwed. So what, it happens, deal with it. We all took this job to make a difference, and when you are a patrol cop knowing your corner, and owning your corner are your job. Too many times I see younger cops not taking action and waiting for a boss to make a decision for them, because they are scared of making the wrong call. Make a decision, take action, and have the balls to face like an adult when things go to sh*t.
     
    frank, zm88, Hush and 2 others like this.

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