LET ME PREFACE THIS PRESENTATON BY SAYING I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON THIS TOPIC BUT IM GOING TO SHARE WITH YOU WHAT I’VE LEARNED AND WHAT I’VE SEEN AT OUR AGENCY AND FACILITATE SOME DISCUSSION BETWEEN ALL OF US HERE TODAY.
RIGHT CLICK--- OPEN “HYPERLINK”” TO PLAY VIDEO ON INTERNET.
TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION SOCIAL INTERACTION RECRUITING TRAINING SUPERVISION RETENTION
WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO BE WILLING TO CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK AND HOW WE DO THINGS—WITHIN REASON OF COURSE.
GO AROUND THE ROOM AND HAVE EACH STUDENT GIVE AN ANSWER. HOW ARE YOU DEALING WITH IT?
I KNOW WHAT I AM SEEING IS THAT WE HAVE A LOT OF NEW OFFICERS WITH ZERO PEOPLE SKILLS
Agencies must use technology as an attraction to careers in LE and use recruiting tools such as online applications, hiring announcements and explaining hiring practices of the agency
They expect to find information about the Department on the web, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Recognition of this is important to them and they want to contribute and share ideas, which isn’t easy in a paramilitary organization. Empowering first-line supervisors to participate in problem solving opens the lines of communication with new generations. LE management should use this group in community policing where there is an emphasis on problem oriented policing
Benefits agency with better understanding of cultural differences while serving the community Millennials are less concerned with privacy than current officers. They’ve spent their lives on social media and think nothing of sharing everything. This becomes an issue when their “posts”, etc. interfere with their public responsibilities and bring embarrassment to the agency.
Their defining moments have been 9/11, space shuttle disasters, Hurricane Katrina, Recession ,and unemployment, school massacres. Living through these horrors has lead millennials to seek more balanced lives. They are driven to recreate a civil society and address how these things could happen. It’s one of the reasons they don’t trust authority.
They were constantly told how special there were and now, this group has very high self-esteem. Trying was given greater weight than getting it right. This has led to this generation having a tough time accepting and applying lessons learned from constructive criticism.
But they often steer clear of knowledge they don’t see as immediately important or serving their needs because, if they do need to know something it’s just a Google search away.
Tales of young adults bringing parents to job interviews, having them intervene with teachers & bosses, and expecting their involvement in what should be adult decisions are abundant—and with good reason.
The issue is that these traits we see in upcoming officers, can also be applied to the criminal element. They feel entitled and will take what they want.
This is concerning in law enforcement, a path, where for older officers, the decades-long stability and benefits was a resounding positive that made up for the career's many frustrations.
In the interest of building self-esteem and confidence, many of their parents established unrealistic expectations of praise and approval that will never really be satisfied again, especially in a paramilitary setting.
They expect high reward, promotion, special assignments and responsibility in very short order
Rather than viewing their differences as weaknesses let’s look at them as opportunities for growth for our profession
Crime has exploded online and it’s going to take adaptable, computer-savvy cops to fight it.
DURING TH ATTACK, WITNESSES AND VICTIMS WERE USING TWITTER, FACEBOOK AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA APPS TO SEND OUT INFO ABOUT THE SCENE NEAR THE BOMBINGS. THE BOSTON P.D. USE THIS NFO AS A WAY TO KEEP THE PUBLIC INFORMED ABOUT THE SCENE. LATER BOSTON P.D. USED SOME OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA INFO TO HELP PIECE FORENSICALLY THE CRIME TOGETHER WITH OTHER EVIENCE
We need to use their strengths of technology, cultural diversity, skills from past jobs and knowledge of their own generation. Give them a chance to contribute early on. Remember—young adults are who we also deal with and arrest the most.
We may as well call them Generation “WHY?”. Answer their questions, explain why things are done the way they are and help them see the bigger picture. Mentoring teaches skills, responsibility, and acting with confidence so they no longer need the mentor.
When they find a balance, they’ll become more engaged in the job without the burnout that so many older generations of cops slide into.
They can become bored very quickly and , if that happens, may disengage or leave the agency.
If they challenge convention, question authority, or suggest something outside-the-box, let’s listen. We should learn to consider and even embrace their skepticism or belief that there may be a better way.
This is how many have learned and functioned so far, and most are comfortable working with others, even across boundaries of age. This also increases the contact with potential mentors inside your agency.
Instead, show them that high performance is expected and feedback is more likely to be constructive and about their mistakes, and there are hierarchies to be respected. They can take it. Many of this generation are quite aware they have a lot to learn.
But, agencies need to explore candidates’ aspirations before hiring.
The biggest problem is that millennial recruits will be out the door before they gain the experience they need to be a valuable employee. They tend to view every job as a stepping stone.
When we hired on, we read a newspaper ad or receive notices in the mail. An email address and texting is important in following contact with these candidates. Conversely, they have no problem contacting a superior and speaking to them as though they are “equals.”
Asking them what they expect from a job and making them prioritize, from a prepared list of possible answers, could be a good first step.
Trainers can get a lot out of this high maintenance group if they practice “in loco parentis” management, give them “context” for decisions, teach by example and instruct them how to manage themselves.
Departments can work closely with colleges or police academies to form their FTO programs. They devote many resources helping instructors adapt to a variety of learning styles.
When given clear goals and allowed to work in group, millennial officers will perform amazingly well. USE THE FACT THAT THEY SEEK PRAISE TO YOUR BENEFIT. KNOWING WHAT BENEFITS THEM IS HALF THE BATTLE. George Thompson of Verbal Judo says The moment you get promoted you have to stay connected to some extent to that front line. That’s when you truly understand what’s going on in your agency and it will give you credibility with officers.
Remember, they tend to switch jobs after 5 years and see themselves as free agents. Try giving them special assignments to empower them. Maybe a neighborhood problem that they find solutions for.
This, however, could be more difficult for smaller agencies. This is where giving them the special neighborhood problems to solve may come in handy. We have neighborhood liaison officers, for example.
Even some researchers are skeptical law enforcement would attract “die-hard” millennials.
Those millennials who “self-select” into law enforcement will likely not have ALL the traits of the millennial generation, especially those characteristics that could prove disruptive. In the end, millennials will perform their jobs just as professionally—but differently—as previous generations. We must keep an open mind.
millennials in your agency
UNDERSTANDING & MANAGING
MILLENNIALS IN YOUR AGENCY
Bridging the Gap
Eastern Michigan University
School of Police Staff & Command
Chief of Police
City of Taylor
August 25, 2016
• 22 years with TPD
• Bachelor’s Degree in Communications,
Wayne State University
• Masters Degree in Criminal Justice,
University of Detroit-Mercy
• Northwestern School of Police Staff &
• Appointed Chief of Police in 2012
About Me . . .
•Typically spans 20 years
•A shared, common experience
•Events, trends and technology
What Defines a Generation?
• THE GREATEST GENERATION
• THE BABY BOOMERS
• GENERATION X
• THE MILLENNIALS
The Current Generations
Other Names Silent Generation
Birth Years Prior to 1945
Current Age 67+
Family Traditional nuclear
Education A dream
Other Names Boomers
Birth Years 1946-1964
Current Age 48-66
Influences Civil Rights
Education A birthright
Other Names Post Boomers
Birth Years 1965-1980
Current Age 33-47
Family Dual income families
Education A way to get there
Other Names Generation Y
Birth Years 1981-2000
Current Age 12-32
Family Blended families
Education An incredible expense
We will focus on this
They are 102 million strong
and expected to be the
largest generation in history.
They have yet to make their
full impact on the law
This means LE executives
should be preparing now.
THERE ARE 3 AREAS OF THIS
GENERATION THAT PROACTIVE
MANAGEMENT MUST UNDERSTAND:
• SOCIAL INTERACTIONS
The Incoming Generation
• They were raised in a technological world
• Some in LE are still behind in using technology
• Expect them to be quick to learn new technology
• Millennials do not use newspapers
Millennials & Technology
• In general, they have more education than older
generations—especially women millennials
• Officers with higher education can be more
resourceful and creative with problem solving
Millennials & Education
• More integrated with minorities & LGBT
• Millennials have an expectation of equality,
assumptions of promotions, and expect to move
on from their jobs within five (5) years
• Most importantly, millennials may not have the
necessary people skills to immediately make
them an effective officer and communicator
Millennials & Social Interaction
#1 Nurture Their Techno Expertise
Applaud and nurture their techno expertise,
ability to “multitask,” and easy portability
between the real and cyber world
#1 Nurture Their Techno Expertise
The first true wide scale law enforcement
application of millennials and modern
technology was the Boston Marathon
“The Police Officer Idiot’s Guide to Dealing with Millennials” (2016)
#2 Learn from THEM
Rookies are told to watch, learn and listen.
This isn’t going to work with this group
our biggest challenge
in dealing with
millennials is going
to be our own
willingness to change
#3 Give them Feedback
They are going to ask you how they’re doing
Help them build confidence. P.D.’s are now
revisiting mentoring programs
#4 Understand Their Outside Life
Look at their desire for a life outside of the
Department as a benefit not a negative,
while inviting their family & friends into
their “police family”
#5 Give Them Responsibility
“Real” responsibility. Recognize that this is
a generation used to being kept busy, with a
high capacity for activity
#6 Consider Their Objections
Listen to their challenges to the status quo
Provide chances for them to work
#8 Teach Them Humility
Teach them that the days of easy praise and
quick reward are over
• RECRUITMENT STRATEGIES
• TRAINING STRATEGIES
• SUPERVISION STRATEGIES
• RETENTION STRATEGIES
The “ME” Generation and
Future of Policing
Most high school & college students
have little or no positive contact with
the police unless they had a school
resource officer in their buildings.
• Negative interactions quickly escalate
due to social media.
• LE agencies can combat that by making
sure to promote any/all positive stories.
• Ramp up agencies social media skills.
• Don’t forget personal one-on-one
communication balanced with social
• When recruiting—don’t post everyday.
It will become “white noise” to them and
they’ll lose interest.
• Trying to engage with this generation
may seem like pandering—but we have
to do it. . .
• This is the hardest to accomplish
• Make sure benefits are clear
• They are looking for most money they
• They are interviewing us, as much as we
are interviewing them.
#3 Technology Engages Them
• Millennials and eventually Generation Z
(2000-Present) are tied to technology in
a major way.
• Having up-to-date technology and
equipment in your agency will be selling
Contact & Notification: This generation
doesn’t use the mail or newspapers
Screening: Shaping test and interview
questions maybe an important way to capture
where the recruit stands on the millennial
A study from the University of North Carolina-
Charlotte, says new millennial officers have high
ethical standards and are willing to work hard.
They are trainable, but not in the way that older
FIELD TRAINING PROGRAMS
Agencies should fine
tune FTO programs
• Provide lots of supervision and structure
• Help them raise expectations of themselves. They
want to be “led” not “managed”
• Stay connected to the front lines.
If police executives want to retain officers,
they may have to accept that they are hiring a
new recruit for the profession—and not
necessarily their agencies.
To retain millennial officers, some
departments have offered:
• Scheduling flexibility
• Opportunities for training & specialization
Good News for Law Enforcement
Not every millennial candidate will display all the
traits we’ve discussed today. A Pew Research Study
shows that millennials are attracted to “progressive”
and “liberal” causes—traits that may be more
conducive to social work than public order.
Final Thoughts . . .
Regardless of what
challenges new cohorts
bring to policing, it will be
crucial for veteran officers
to teach them that no
individual officer is so
special, but it is what we
do that is special . . .
In Every Generation there are Sheepdogs . . .
My Contact Info:
If I can ever be of assistance please contact me at:
Chief Mary Sclabassi
Taylor Police Department
Facebook & LinkedIn: Mary Sclabassi