In the United States, there are more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies with less than 100 sworn personnel. In order to balance community needs with fiscal constraints, many departments have turned to reserve or part-time officers to complement full-time sworn personnel. However, when something like the incident in Tulsa, Oklahoma happens—a reserve deputy sheriff fatally shot an unarmed man—it is important to consider who these reserve officers are.
Law enforcement agencies around the country have gotten smarter about who they hire and how they nurture individuals throughout their careers. One tool that has been proven to meet both goals is the development of formal mentoring programs for officers. Such programs can help increase the retention of new officers, help develop healthier officers, and improve agency morale. Learn how the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) built its mentoring program, how it uses mentoring in its recruiting efforts, and how its program has helped lower officer discipline rates by 40 percent.