Workforce selection practices have become more prominent over the years, particularly with law enforcement recruitments. This enhanced use of process selection allows for more advanced methods of assessing police officers. One reason for this extreme emphasis on selection systems is the elimination of unqualified police recruit applicants, thus ensuring that monetary resources are not wasted on the ill-equipped (Cochrane., Tett., & Vandecreek, 2003). Several factors impact the potential success or failure of police recruits, including tertiary studies; efficient communication skills; previous moral and ethical behaviour and psychological adequacy of recruits. However, just two of the four selection criteria including tertiary studies, and personality suitability will be analysed and evaluated in this literary review. Higher educated police officers are better equipped to serve in today’s complex and challenging environment through greater awareness of social and cultural/ ethnic community issues; promoting a more professional image of law enforcement, as well as exemplifying themselves as ‘problem solvers’ rather than ‘reactive agents’(Trfymowych, 2007, pg. 419). Likewise, psychological and personality suitability of employees allows for police officers to screen out psychopathology as well as Identify individuals who match some ‘ideal’ profile of high performing police. Therefore, this review aims to determine whether or not the selected criteria reviewed are valid for use in a police recruit selection process through a detailed evaluation of each criteria.
As the role of a police officer is becoming more complex in the 21st century with the advances in social and technological developments, the need for tertiary studies is essential. In an attempt to modernise the role of police officers as well as professionalise the image of policing, the National Police Professionalism Implementation Advisory Committee (NPPIAC) recommended in 1990 that ‘police pursue full professional status reflecting national education standards underpinned by university qualifications’ (Trfymowych, 2007, pg. 419). Despite the fact that there were limited statistics available on higher education and police recruitment for Australia, data collated by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) illustrated that among local law enforcement organisations in 2000, 33 per-cent of officers employed by a department attained some type of college degree (Dempsey.,& Forst, 2009). This percentage of higher educated recruitments was three times the number employed in 1990 thus demonstrating the need for police officers with higher educated qualifications.
Whilst there has been much debate about whether higher education is essential for police officers, most empirical research suggests that tertiary education has a more positive impact rather than negative (Trfymowych, 2007).
Empirical research conducted by a range of sociologists and theorists have discovered various ...