In Law Enforcement and the work force as a whole, many employers are asking the question, “Where have all the good hires gone?” It is a question that many are at a loss to answer. However, I believe the answer is very simple. We are raised by the society we live in. The beliefs and values we have come from family, friends, and religion. In the picture below you have the morals, ethics and values to the right and the world to the left. The worldly view is one lacking in morals, ethics, and values; it is one full of evil. As you move to the right you have stronger morals, ethics, and values. We struggle between the desires of the world and the desire to have morals, ethics and values. As a result we try to keep our distance from the worldly values of evil. This keeps us safe from the evils of the world and still we have morals, ethics, and values of life. This is where you will find the pool of the ‘Average New Hire’. The officers we hire come from this pool and the officer understands the dangers of the world and is able to stand strong against the evils that are thrown at them daily because of the morals, ethics, and value of life taught by family, friends, and religion.
The world has been moving more and more away from morals, ethics and values of life. It has been a trend of human kind since the beginning. As we have progressed in our knowledge we have lost our ancestors morals, ethics, and value of life. The world continues to move to the left away from the morals, ethics, and value of life our ancestors had. We call this progress and it is the decay of our society. The picture below represents the result of this progress and decay of our society as we continue this trend.
The ‘Average New Hire’ is keeping their distance from the evils of the world. However, because the world has been moving away from morals, ethics and value of life the ‘Average New Hire’ is also moving away from the morals, ethics, and values of life. As employers we are still drawing our new hires from this pool. Those great employees are still out there, but you have to move to the right of the ‘Average New Hire’ pool. As you move to the right, the number of available hires becomes less and less. To find the new hire with the same morals, ethics, and values of the past we are now far to the right of the ‘Average New Hire’, the old standard. As a result, the available number of potential hires is less, our work force is less, and we then begin to change the criterion for the new hire. The officer we hire now and that will pass our background check, in the past would not have passed the background and would not have been considered for hire. We in essence have lowered our standards. Our new standard is now from where the world used to be and the old standard is far right. This new standard has become necessary to have the staffing to answer those calls on the street. The logic has been that we can train them and make them good officers, but we many times fail at this.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great officers out there that have high morals, ethics, and values. They are still there and serve their communities with honor, respect, and dignity. They are pillars of the community and leaders of great departments. The ones we are bringing in to fill the gap are bringing our profession down because we have lowered our standards. We must hold to a higher standard and build the officers of our departments to have high morals, ethics, and values. The officer of tomorrow must be ones that can serve and protect the community and be able to stand strong when offered an easy way out. When our officers fail to demonstrate the higher morals, ethics, and values of Law Enforcement we must correct them and encourage them to improve. It is imperative we hire the officer from the work force that has morals, ethics, and values.
We are raised by the society we live in.
It is time to step up and build our society to have better morals, ethics and values. Our ancestors are examples and we need to get back to it.
Norman Hale is a Captain with the White County Sheriff’s Department in Searcy Arkansas. He began his Law Enforcement career as an auxiliary member with the Department in 1987. He has been an instructor since 2002, and graduated from the School of Law Enforcement Supervision (SLES) in December 2008. He was appointed to the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Security and Emergency Preparedness in April of 2011 and completed his term at the end of 2016. Captain Hale is an Instructor with the Criminal Justice Institute, of Little Rock Arkansas, and instructs the Advance Supervision and Leadership and Coping with Law Enforcement Stress courses. He has been in supervision since 1994. Currently he supervises the Patrol, CID, and the Judicial Division of the department and formerly served as Detention Center Administrator. He has been married to Tonia since October of 1990 and has a son Jacob, working toward an EMS Paramedic and a daughter Paige, working toward a Masters in teaching.
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