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Are Millennials to Blame for Police Recruiting Shortages?

“Another consequence of brainwashing students against traditional American values, including hard work and respect for law enforcement, means that Millennials may not be interested in making even the more mundane sacrifices necessary to work in law enforcement.”

What I call the anti-police state has inflicted destructive consequences on our communities. One result I write about often is called “de-policing,” the most common form being officers, for career survival, avoiding proactive or self-initiated patrol activities. These actions include enforcing minor lawbreaking and investigating suspicious persons or circumstances. Strange, but cops aren’t interested in being disciplined, sued, fired, or sent to prison just for doing their jobs. Who knew?

But what about de-policing in the form of not having enough cops on the job? Another consequence of society’s unjustified mass attack on law enforcement is police recruiting shortages. If you think about it, though broader in focus, police staffing shortages can also be viewed as a form of de-policing via depriving communities of police protection. And it’s happening all across America for a combination of reasons.

By creating such hostile work environments for cops, society is discouraging potential police recruits from considering a career in law enforcement. Could another aspect of this animus toward police officers be the apparent damage done to America’s youth through the teaching of warped societal values to the Millennial generation?

This is a generation whose age range, currently and for years to come, places them as ripe fruit for recruitment by police agencies. According to the Brookings Institution, “Millennials will make up as much as 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2025.” But will enough of them choose the difficult path to become police officers?

By creating such hostile work environments for cops, society is discouraging potential police recruits from considering a career in law enforcement.

Due to the leftist political influence in their educations, trust in government institutions, except for liberal government, seems very low. In fact, only “19% of Millennials agreed with the statement, ‘most people can be trusted.’” Other age groups had markedly higher percentages of trust in their fellow man and woman. If they don’t trust most people in general, how much do they trust a group so disparaged as the cops, and why would they want to become one?

Ironically, though leftist teachers and professors encourage students to rely on government, they indoctrinate students not to trust the police. They’ve also taught our youth that cops deserve no benefit of the doubt. So, the social results shouldn’t be a surprise. Why would anyone want to be a cop today?

Another consequence of brainwashing students against traditional American values, including hard work and respect for law enforcement, means that Millennials may not be interested in making even the more mundane sacrifices necessary to work in law enforcement.

According to PoliceOne.com, Dallas police chief Renee Hall blames Millennials, in part, as a reason her agency is struggling to fill police officer positions. She told the city council that Millennials are not interested in a job that isn’t nine-to-five with weekends and holidays off and where they can’t be promoted to “chief in six months.”

This brings up another result of de-policing – reducing the quality of police officers. The chief raised the possibility of lowering hiring standards to allow more job applicants to qualify. Aside from positive ideas, such as offering rewards like extra days off to officers who refer qualified candidates who graduate from the police academy, Chief Hall has suggested “eliminating minor disqualifiers like minor drug use.” This may be a minor factor, but where does lowering standards stop? What if lowering this one item fails to increase recruiting?

The Dallas P.D. is not the only agency suffering from difficulties in attracting and retaining good cops. I’m not settled on the Millennial argument yet (though my visceral reaction tells me she’s right), but Chief Hall makes an interesting point in bringing up this issue as a factor hindering recruiting.

American society needs to ask itself why it doesn’t fight harder against a politically biased educational system, starting in Kindergarten and going through College. This system insists on creating learning environments that inflict on our kids an extraordinary sense of entitlement and a self-confidence born of unearned achievement – from everyone gets a trophy in grade school to creating “safe spaces” for those delicate university snowflakes ostensibly preparing to enter the real world.

This politically partisan education system and its leftist media allies continually portray cops as knuckle-dragging, jackbooted caricatures who delight in violating people’s rights, physically abusing and even shooting them, even if their “hands are up.”

Is it any wonder no one wants to be a cop these days?

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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