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Community Justice Center Publishes Inclusive Strategies for Recruitment and Retention of Law Enforcement Personnel

The Community Justice Center (CJC), a collaborative between the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County to implement joint Reimagining Public Safety plans, has published a new report detailing strategies for the recruitment and retention of law enforcement personnel. The CJC contracted with HCH Enterprises to develop the report which can be found here and on the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County Human Resources websites. Recommendations from the report will be implemented as part of the 2024 CJC work plan.

The strategic report includes recommendations and implementation proposals in the areas of; workplace culture, recruiting, community engagement, compensation, accessibility, recognition, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The report was developed following an analysis of local data and stakeholder interviews, national trends, and relevant studies on recruitment and retention of law enforcement personnel.

The report’s executive summary states, “The proposed strategies are designed to enhance the appeal of the Police department to prospective recruits and bolster the retention of current staff. This report provides specific recommendations based on research, industry best practices, and information provided by community leaders and law enforcement officials. Recommendations focus on empowering the city and county law enforcement agencies to attract diverse and qualified recruits while retaining experienced personnel.”

Monalita Smiley, Project Director of the Community Justice Center, stated “This is a roadmap for diversifying our law enforcement departments in Ithaca and Tompkins County and instilling a more inclusive culture. Thank you to the CJC’s working group and to HCH Enterprises for their work on this important strategic plan, and for the community members and law enforcement personnel who shared their perspective throughout the process. I am looking forward to implementing these plans alongside law enforcement and the community.”

HCH Enterprises’ Dr. Maritsa Barros, Lecturer in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Leadership Program at Tufts University reiterated from the report, “These recommendations will allow both the City and the County to address recruitment and retention challenges while also enhancing community relations and safety. The report is a comprehensive roadmap for attracting and retaining high-quality personnel while fostering an inclusive and supportive workplace culture.” Dr. Barros continued, “By embracing these strategies, the City and County can expand the pool of qualified candidates and retain existing talent — putting the law enforcement departments and the public safety of the entire community in a position for success.”