The Jacksonville Police Department is in the midst of their 2022 recruiting initiative.
Police Chief Adam Mefford says he solicited all officers in the department to come up with changes to recruit new officers.
He says after a meeting with about half of his current staff, they have come up with some new ideas for recruitment during this cycle: “We are not going to sit back and wait to be invited to somewhere. We’re going to reach out to colleges and universities, and we’re going to go in person there. We have updated our booth presentation so it’s kind of a ‘love at first sight’ thing. We want to be appealing. When somebody walks by, we want them to see our professional look, our people in uniform. We are getting up to speed with technology. In the past, we would go to these recruiting and job fairs and we would hand out a piece of paper. They would fill it out and then manually mail it in or drop it off in person at the police department. So, now, we are creating kiosks at our recruiting booths where people can come right up [and fill out the application]. There will be I-Pads there. They can hit the button and do it right there online and hit ‘submit.’ It goes automatically into our hiring pool and our database at the police department to get them already engaged in the hiring process.”
Mefford hopes to have a testing pool of around 100 or more individuals when the recruiting initiative is complete. He says another way they are going to keep potential candidates engaged in the application process is assigning potential applicants a mentor to guide the candidate through every step of the hiring process.
Mefford hopes that it will engage and keep people interested in wanting to become a public servant despite the current volatile climate involving being a police officer.