Download

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback12 pages $10.00 $8.00 20% Web Discount

Research Questions

  1. How can barriers to creating diversity within police departments be identified?
  2. Once identified, how can they be addressed and remedied?

The authors describe how law enforcement agencies can use barrier analysis, a method of assessment aimed at identifying potential obstacles to obtaining resources or participating in a program, to better understand and address the challenge of creating diversity among their personnel. They examine key points in the career lifecycle, such as recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention practices, to determine where women and racial/ethnic minorities face obstacles that might account for less-than-proportionate representation among applicants, hires, and senior leadership. They describe the barrier analysis process, illustrate how it can help law enforcement agencies increase the diversity of their workforce, and present case studies featuring police departments that have used barrier analysis.

Key Findings

A Complete Barrier Analysis Consists of Five Phases

  • Phases 1 through 3 — developing a detailed flow chart of the workforce management process, constructing population benchmarks, and comparing employee distribution to benchmarks — help agencies determine whether barriers exist.
  • Phases 4 and 5 — identifying potential barriers and addressing and removing barriers — are carried out when representation of any gender or racial/ethnic group is found to be lacking in the agency's workforce.

Together, the Five Phases Can Help Agency Leaders Identify Key Barriers and Take Proactive Steps to Build a More Diverse Workforce

  • Agencies can experiment with changes in the type and/or targeting of recruiting.
  • The validity of any hiring requirement can be examined to ensure that it is a strong predictor of future job performance and that there are no alternative tools that are equally valid but show less adverse impact.
  • Administrative data or exploratory interviews or surveys with workforce members can be used to further explore differences in retention and promotion decisions.

This research was conducted in the RAND Center on Quality Policing (CQP) within the Safety and Justice Program of RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE).

This report is part of the RAND Corporation occasional paper series. RAND occasional papers may include an informed perspective on a timely policy issue, a discussion of new research methodologies, essays, a paper presented at a conference, or a summary of work in progress. All RAND occasional papers undergo rigorous peer review to help ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.