DOJ announces 2 new reports focused on helping rural LE

The publications focus on the unique recruitment, retention and operational challenges of rural law enforcement agencies

By Suzie Ziegler 

WASHINGTON — Two new publications focused on the needs of rural law enforcement have been released, the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced this week. 

On Tuesday, the COPS Office released a report called “Conversations with Rural Law Enforcement Leaders, Volume Two.” Another report, called “Recruiting and Retaining Officers in Small and Rural Agencies,” came out last month in December 2020. 

A press release by the DOJ says these reports are part of an ongoing effort to provide more assistance for rural agencies. 

“Rural agencies often face challenges that are unique to their agencies, and because of geography, competing resources, and continually changing priorities, these challenges can often go ignored,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith in a statement. “I’m proud of the time and effort that the COPS Office has dedicated to working with these very important agencies and gearing our available resources to their needs.” 

Volume Two of the report released Tuesday covers conversations about the needs of rural agencies in Texas, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. Topics discussed and included in the report include funding, recruitment and retention, training, substance abuse, illegal drug trafficking, jail capacities and technology, according to the release. Volume One of this series was released in March 2020.

The December report, “Recruiting and Retaining Officers in Small and Rural Agencies,” was based on a daylong forum of rural law enforcement staff and experts. The discussion focused on recruiting challenges specific to rural agencies.

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