The Importance Of Mentors In Law Enforcement

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Mentors are crucial in training and retaining new law enforcement professionals and therefore development of mentor programs should be a priority to law enforcement agencies everywhere. Research has shown that an effective mentoring program increases productivity, employee retention, and job performance in professions across the board (Russell, 2011). In addition to being a demanding and at times dangerous career, law enforcement agencies face unique challenges brought on by the high level of public scrutiny departments are often faced with. These challenges highlight the need for effective mentoring programs all the more. Young aspiring police officers look to positive mentors, who can demonstrate exemplary behaviors and share their knowledge and experience with them. Mentors provide new recruits with on the job training, as the new officers are able to observe an experienced officer in action. Having an identified …show more content…
Officers who are vested in each other are more likely to perform well on the job, because they feel a sense of obligation to their fellow officer. This also leads to less employee turnover, which is a huge benefit, as law enforcement agencies across the country are facing staffing issues (Smoot, 2016). The Knoxville, Iowa Police Department implemented a Chief as Mentor Program, which is an effective program for smaller departments in which the chief has time to dedicate to mentoring each officer. As part of this program the chief meets individually with every officer twice a year in order to discuss goal setting and career planning. Since implementing this program the Knoxville Police Department has seen reduced employee turnover and increased employee loyalty (Sprafka, 2008). The benefits of improved morale and employee retention that result from effective mentor programs are crucial to department

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