What if potential police recruits could “test drive” the job before they apply?
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) has released a unique career exploration resource designed to do just that. The IACP/Discover Policing Virtual Police Ride-Along is a first-of-its-kind realistic job preview for law enforcement — a tool to aid job seekers in assessing their fit to the profession of community policing.
A realistic job preview is a concept from the field of industrial/organizational psychology wherein potential job applicants are provided information on the positive and negative aspects of a job. Armed with this deeper understanding of what a job truly entails, candidates are better able to able to gauge their interest and future success in a field and make more informed decisions about moving forward with the application process. Results can save time and effort for both the applicant and the hiring agency.
The IACP/Discover Policing Virtual Police Ride-Along is a series of 10 animated videos depicting scenarios common to police work, with a focus on service orientation and community policing. Viewers watch each scenario and answer corresponding questions designed to gauge their fit to the law enforcement profession. At the end, viewers get diagnostic feedback along with an evaluation of how their work values and interests align with officers in the field today.
The Virtual Police Ride-Along is a great tool for police agencies to use in information sessions with potential recruits or citizen’s police academies. Educators and career counselors will find it useful as a basis for classroom discussions on the nature of police work.
The Virtual Ride-Along is part of the IACP’s flagship police recruitment and career exploration website, www.discoverpolicing.org. The Discover Policing website offers comprehensive information about careers in law enforcement, a full-featured job board, agency directory, and an integrated mentoring center. The goal of Discover Policing is to provide a nationwide platform for police recruitment that emphasizes diversity, inclusion, and an accurate portrayal of policing as a professional career option. Log onto www.discoverpolicing.org today! Contact Tracy Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Special thanks to the following agencies for lending staff time and talent to this project:
- Alexandria (VA) Police Department
- Anne Arundel County (MD) Police Department
- Arlington County (VA) Police Department
- Ashland (VA) Police Department
- Frederick (MD) Police Department
- Herndon (VA) Police Department
- Loudoun County (VA) Sheriff’s Office
- Prince George’s County (MD) Police Department
- St. Mary’s County (MD) Sheriff’s Office
- Virginia State Police