U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Recruitment and Retention for the Modern Law Enforcement Agency

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2023
60 pages

This document addresses the staffing crisis faced by law enforcement agencies since the Covid-19 pandemic; it provides solutions and recommendations regarding eligibility and hiring practices, training, officer benefits and incentives, work-life balance and officer wellness, diversity, equity, and inclusion, culture, law enforcement image, pipeline programs, and appendices.


This document is the product of the 2023 meeting of a group of more than 30 law enforcement and community leaders from across the U.S., in which they discussed existing best practices as well as emerging and transformative solutions designed to address the current, nationwide staffing challenges. The meeting agenda was driven by information from the participants during brief interviews that were conducted before the event and were designed to promote actionable discussion. This publication lays out the outcomes of the meeting; it focuses on both short- and long-term strategies and solutions, including topics such as modernizing the hiring process, incorporating technology, updating requirements, marketing strategies to attract service-oriented candidates, and examining existing and new benefits and incentives. Another topic covered in the meeting and reflected in this document was employee retention, with a focus on wellness and mental well-being, and a need for accountability and transparency throughout the hiring and employment process in order to promote public confidence. The publication’s goal is to provide practical guidance and specific recommendations that will benefit all law enforcement agencies.

Date Published: October 1, 2023