Police departments recruiting younger tech savvy officers

Posted on Apr 07, 2014

Police departments in the U.S. are quickly turning toward new technology to help stop crime and be one step ahead of criminals. According to FOX affiliate KTVU, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) is looking to obtain young and local police officers through social media.

The OPD has 616 current members on their law enforcement team, but the city has to hire 91 more officers by the end of the fiscal year. According to the source, the OPD is tweeting out job invites stating, "Want to help stop violence in Oakland? Become an Oakland police officer."


The message is being sent out in different languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish and Vietnamese to try and attract younger officers. The motive for the OPD is to seek out young and more tech-savvy officers that are familiar with the Oakland area.

With the new generation of Millennials entering the workforce, many businesses are looking to take advantage of their more-advanced computer knowledge - the OPD is hoping to do the same.

Many police departments relying on outdated technology

Typically, police departments have older and outdated policing technology embedded in their operations, Pando Daily reported. Younger recruits and tech-savvy people are becoming more attractive to police departments because they can help implement the new police technology that is available on the market.

Rick Smith, co-founder and CEO of TASER International, a leading police gadget company, told Pando Daily the average person on the street has better gadgets in his or her pocket than the officer patrolling the area.

"Police are on a last technology delivery model," Smith added. "Consumers and business are on the first."

This is an ongoing concern for many police departments as they try to figure out how to instate more crime control technology. In Oakland, police officials want more local kids applying. Many police departments benefit from young and local hires since they know the streets and the technology being used for criminal activity.

"Not enough Oakland kids are applying," Mayor Jean Quan, said, according to KTVU. "We already have a few in the pipeline, but [what] we want to do is up the numbers and have a whole school program."

Many stations are reaching out to younger recruits to get them interested in joining before college. Some students are able to start training in their junior and senior years of high school and enroll in the police academy in their first year of college.

"We're recruiting a younger generation, much more tech-savvy than people were in the past," Sean Whent, interim police chief, told the source. "They're using social media, so we're going to them."

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