The Challenge of Selecting Tomorrow's Police Officers from Generations X and Y

F. L. McCafferty,
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 31(1): 078-088, 2003.
Demands on police officers in the past 30 years have grown dramatically with the increasing threats to social order and personal security. Selection of police officers has always been difficult, but now with the increasing demand and complexity of police work, along with the candidates applying from Generation X and even Generation Y, the selection process has become more critical. The personal characteristics attributed to Generation X-- and in the future, to Generation Y-- should be factored into the selection process to ensure that those individuals selected as police officers will be able to cope with what has been described as the impossible mandate of police work in a free society. Background information on the X and Y generations is imperative for psychiatrists working with police departments and other law enforcement agencies. This article will explore these areas and construct a paradigm selection process.