The I.U.P.A. regularly conducts research to support our members and to aid us in advocating for the best interests of law enforcement nationwide. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey at the below link on staffing concerns in law enforcement that the I.U.P.A. is conducting in support of LEOs. As in any study, participation is critical in conducting a study on this issue. We thank you in advance for your assistance in this project.
The I.U.P.A. Research Department regularly conducts research on this and other topics of interest to law enforcement. In the summer of 2022, a report was published, “Staffing Shortages and Tactics for Solutions”, in which some recommendations were made based on the insights shared in a survey by officers across the nation about staffing levels and strategies that were working best.
The I.U.P.A. concluded from this research that staffing is at dangerous levels and steps must be instituted immediately to retain experienced law enforcement staff and to attract more staff to the profession. The I.U.P.A. recommends all of the following to solve this issue as a bare minimum.
- Negotiation through the collective bargaining process is absolutely critical in meeting the needs of staff, departments, and the communities they serve. It is only through that process that everyone’s needs are met, everyone’s voices are heard, and the most effective solutions can be found and implemented.
- Instituting minimum staffing levels that are consistently met so that officers have back up when they need it and can safely protect their communities.
- Benefits that long have been stagnant or suspended can make staff feel underappreciated and unable to meet their financial and familial needs. Bringing these benefits up to date is essential. This includes bringing step plans in line with the correct years of service, modernizing retirement plans, and offering longevity pay and DROP. Giving staff what is reasonably expected shows them they are valued and being invested in, which makes them feel more likely to stay. Giving them anything less has the adverse effect of signaling strongly that they are not valued.
- Annual retention bonuses for existing staff would incentivize staff with valuable experience to stay on the job.
- Support of law enforcement staff by their departments and municipalities that is clearly expressed to staff and the public. Including law enforcement staff in discussions on police reform and discipline would not only improve their morale, but it would also allow for better solutions by including those who are most knowledgeable about the subject in the process.
The I.U.P.A. recommends the following as proven and useful incentives to attract and retain law enforcement staff.
- Benefits/incentives that ease financial burdens on staff and enhance their quality of living such as housing incentives and relocation assistance, better schedules, take home cars, and other similar incentives.
- Bonuses for current staff who attract applicants to the department.
- Bonuses for new hires and lateral hires.
- Credit for previous service in law enforcement and the military on the pay scale for new hires and lateral hires as well as for retirement benefits.