Finding good cops: the foundations of a screen-in (not out) hiring process for police

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to outline components of a proposed screen-in (not out) hiring process for police. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses survey data collected from police officers of all ranks (n = 166) in one Arizona police department, exploring officer perceptions of the most important qualities necessary to be an exceptional police officer, as well as the optimal processes for finding people with those traits. Findings: Results build on prior studies that have begun to identify sought-after traits including honesty, integrity, ethics, compassion, empathy, as well as communication and listening skills. Findings also suggest preliminary steps for finding good cops through expansion of existing screen-out processes to also screen-in desirable prospects, application of some academy training processes to the hiring pool, and more proactive recruitment efforts. Originality/value: This study adds value to the extant literature on the characteristics of good policing and on identifying the qualities by which to “screen-in” officers during the hiring and recruitment process. Further, the authors expand this understanding by capturing perceptions of the best processes to identify individuals with desirable qualities during the hiring and recruitment process. The implications of these findings are used to initiate a discussion of foundational components of a screening-in hiring process for police, informed by both empirical research and community perspectives.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)676-692
    Number of pages17
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Jul 22 2022


    • Hiring
    • Officer surveys
    • Police
    • Screen-in

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Public Administration
    • Law


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