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Recruitment Proccesses in the Chicago Police Department

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 2487 words Published: 5th Jun 2020

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1. Organization and Job overview

The Chicago Police Department was established on August 15, 1835. According to the Chicago Police Departments history the department only consisted of a very small group of officers which were only constables to part-time night watchmen positions between 1838 through 1854 who served and protected a quickly expanding city (Chicago police department, 2019). Besides being the oldest modern police forces in the world, the Chicago police department is the second largest municipal police department in the United States. There are approximately 13,500 officers and over 1,925 other employees (Chicago Police Department (2019, June07). The Organization consists of six bureaus, Bureau of Patrol (BOP), Bureau of Detectives, Bureau of Organized Crime (BOC), Bureau of Organizational Development, Bureau of Technical Services, Bureau of Internal Affair. Each one of these bureau chiefs are to report directly to the First Deputy Superintendent of Police. There are 22 police districts each are led by a commander who oversees his or her district (Chicago Police Department (2019, June07). Chicago Police Departments Mission is to serve their communities and protect the lives, rights, and property of all Chicagoans. As an officer for the Chicago Police Department must therefore hold, professionalism, integrity, courage, dedication and respect. They do this by enforcing laws, including traffic codes, and helping emergencies as well as maintaining order. Police officers are to accomplishes this mission through his or her presence and of enforcement of Federal, State and Municipal laws as necessary. The duties that are required with becoming a police officer are to monitor the environment and crime conditions of their assigned geographic area. Responding to incidents either assigned or observed as required. These officers are to protect citizens from life threatening situations and making sure that Chicagoans are protected (Chicago police department, 2019).

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2. Description of recruitment and selection practices

The Chicago police department uses the slogan “Be the Change” as the title for social media that aims to recruit new officers. The Be the Change Facebook page posts events such as CPD credit repair workshops that allow potential officers to gain a better chance at becoming a Chicago police officer. Much of the recruitment process revolves around places of education as the best possible option to gain the greatest number of new recruits. The Chicago Police Department also requires that you have completed at least 60 college credits. Being an officer in today’s world requires various skills that combine both the mind and body. Therefore, it is important to recruit potential officers from places that contain a large amount of athletic and quick-thinking individuals. The recruitment process includes many positive benefits that relate to the job. These advertisements show the potential healthcare and salary benefits that come along with being a Chicago police officer.

The slogan Be the Change focuses on the individual’s potential and ability to make a change in the community. Making a positive difference in the community is a strong factor in the recruit’s interest in becoming a Chicago police officer. This factor allows for people to feel like they are something greater than just the average worker and the difference they make in the community can positively impact the lives of not only themselves but the lives of other individuals as well. By giving the recruit a sense of positivity is a key concept and feeling that is created when the Chicago police department places ads in various places.

Important to also consider the fact that many people have family already in the Chicago Police Department can influence the recruitment process. By having family or friends in law enforcement creates a bond that other jobs may not offer. Further, important that recruits talk to people that are involved in the police department as they will give the recruit the best sense of the job rather than making inferences based on statistics and advertisements. Overall, the bond experienced by recruits and officers strengthens ties to the community and allows for positivity in the recruitment process.

As far as the selection process once a recruit moves on to the next step in becoming a police officer there are various tests a recruit must go through. These tests include a written exam, physical exam, medical, background, and drug test. All these things allow for the best possible candidates to become officers. These officers will again, going back to the slogan be the change in the community that allows for all people to live in safety. These tests challenge recruits and allow the department to make the best possible decision when selecting officers. Further, these tests allow for recruits to being to learn the sense of how it will be on the job and whether the job is right for them. If the recruit is personable and able to adapt to various situations is key when considering the potential officer’s ability to enforce the law.

Through recruitment and selection, the Chicago police department is not only better able to hire new officers but also better able to place officers in neighbors that would allow them to make the greatest impact throughout their career. The selection process also gives the potential officer a chance to decide whether the job is truly what they would like to do. This process can take months and recruits may take certain tests multiple times so perseverance and patience are needed just as it may on the job. In conclusion, there are various positive benefits that include all areas of society and through the recruitment and selection process the Chicago Police Department can allow individuals from across Chicago to be the change in the community.

3. Evaluation of recruitment and selection practices

3-1. Recruitment

The Chicago Police Department engages in efficient recruitment process using personnel policies such Lead-the-Market pay strategies with ads, such as “earn up to $72,510, plus benefits after just 18 months” (Chicago police department, 2019). This strategy brings in more candidates since some of the duties required to be a police officer are not the most desirable. The department does a lot of external recruitment from direct applicants posting ads, billboards, newspaper ads, directly on their website as well as going to events in schools to promote being a police officer. The Department uses these processes effectively to recruit new police officers. This organization does follow what was discussed in our book regarding the recruitment process, which is effective and should bring in more candidates, however they are having difficulty hiring more officers in Chicago due to the stigma around police officers in general. According to the Chicago Tribune Since 2018 they have pushed for more diversity as well as adding more than 1,000 cops, they have tried to change the image of the controversial shootings of black men by white officers. The organization has succeeded in bringing black candidates into the early stages of the hiring process, thirty-eight percent of applicants were African Americans. The department is still failing in hiring more diverse candidates. When the department last held an exam in December, 44 percent of the African Americans who had applied didn’t show up. They did conduct surveys for candidates who didn’t show up, the reasons ranged from forgetting to go to accepting other jobs in the interim (Chicago Tribune 2019, May 23).

The Chicago Police Department is engaging in the appropriate process for recruitment, they are conflicted with a stigma that is causing their organization to be limited in police officers. Even though this process has worked for the organization for quite some time it is not working any more. Not many citizens are interested in becoming a police officer regardless of the incentive given.

3-2. Selection

Selection process required for a Chicago Police Officer requires an extensive process. The department uses several methods to narrow down their candidates. Reliability, Validity, generalizable, Utility and Legality is practiced in the organization since it is required to take a department written exam, a psychological test, a polygraph test, physical test, as well as a power test. The HR department also contacts 3 previous neighbors, ex boy/girlfriend and 3 friends. They do a thorough background check which all meet the practices discussed in the book. All these requirements are necessary for the position and what the job entails. These practices do fit with what knowledge is known about other organizations in the same industry since this job entails a lot it is required for the organization to have such an extensive process in order for them to find suitable candidates for this position. For example, having a candidate not perform well on the physical test is an important aspect of the job description.

The HRM practices that this organization practices do work for this organization. Having so many processes in selecting a candidate will let the organization know which are the best fit for this job. These practices are strategically used and work well for this specific organization. Becoming a police officer is a position in which individual will be required to fulfill duties and tasks both physical and mental, these officers could be placed in a situation that may be dangerous and they must be able to handle the situation in a rapid and clear manner which is why is it is required for police officers to pass a psychological test. This will determine if this candidate is adequate to handle such circumstances.

There is no conflict regarding what is the recommended practices in the course to what is used for this organization. All the practices do fit with what other organizations in the same field are practicing as well. Chicago Police Department only conflict would be to expand in diversity and recreate the image of being an officer.

4. Two recommendations for recruitment and/or selection

4-1. First recommendation

For the Chicago Police Department to improve their recruitment process they will need to make each active police officer a recruiter. This does not mean that they must go out and recruit after they are done with their shift, in fact they can achieve this by recruiting prospective applicants while on duty. As we know already, the Chicago Police Department has problems with retaining its applicants and therefore they have a shortage of quality candidates. To some people the answer to these problems would be to make the process of becoming a police officer easier and lower the standards of recruitment. By doing this, the immediate result might look positive for the department, but then it will cause many problems later when these poorly selected candidates are put into the field. Therefore, it is necessary to have active police officers recruit while on the job, to increase the applicant pool. Officers should be trained on how to recruit the right candidate as well. For example if there is a scenario that plays out where a crime has been committed and there was a third party individual who tried to prevent the crime, or help out the investigating officers, then the police officers reporting to the incident should try to recruit this person to become a fellow police officer. Police officers also should have criteria when actively recruiting in the field. Not everyone is cut out to become a police officer, so recruiting officers should go through a mental checklist while talking to a possible applicant, so the department doesn’t waste time and money weeding the bad applicants out. Things to look for in a possible applicant would be physically healthy, willingness to help others, mentally stable, and if they are calm and collective on a crime scene. By making police officers recruit potential employees while on the job, the Chicago Police Department will ensure that they will have many quality applicants throughout the years to come.

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4.2. Second recommendation

It is instrumental to the Chicago Police Department to project the right image to their applicants. With all the bad press surrounding police officers these days, it will be harder to recruit people to these positions. Therefore, the department itself needs to show active support for its officers. When having a job that requires you putting your life on the line and making monumental decisions in a matter of seconds, it is important to reward or show gratitude to those who protect us. Nobody is going to want to become a police officer and take the risks associated with the job if they are going to be treated poorly. It starts with the department’s website, in this day and age members of the workforce look online for jobs and when someone comes across the Chicago Police Department’s website it can be motivating to show instances of officers being praised for the work they are doing. People who think about becoming a police officer wants to make a difference in their community and it needs to be evident that that is also the goal of the department.  Even though actively recruiting in the field is essential, creating a desirable place to work in the first place is a recruiting technique that is key.


●       (n.d.). Retrieved from https://home.chicagopolice.org/inside-the-cpd/history/

●       Chicago Police Department. (2019, June 07). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Police_Department

●       Hinkel, D., & Richards, J. S. (2019, May 23). Despite hiring push, Chicago police still falling short in attracting black officers. Retrieved from https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-met-chicago-police-hiring-20180503-story.html

●       Chicago Police Department Officer Requirements. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.criminaljusticedegreeschools.com/criminal-justice-resources/police-departments-by-metro-area/chicago-police-department-officer-requirements/#requirements


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