Regional Recruitment Partnership

The Regional Recruitment Partnership launched in July 2020, comprising 20 law enforcement agencies in the region, as a collaborative approach to improve the quality of law enforcement candidates, encourage diverse applications that represent the region, and highlight a collective vision for 21st century law enforcement agencies.

As attrition and vacancy rates continue to increase for local departments and many finish recruitment processes without hiring a single applicant, it is imperative to address the larger recruiting challenges for the profession. While this challenge is nationwide, there are many opportunities to improve relationships between candidates and departments on a local level.

The Regional Recruitment Partnership will leverage local dollars and brainpower to conduct a region-wide marketing and education campaign with WRAL Digital Solutions, guided by data collected through an ongoing research effort with NC Central University and Wake Tech Community College studying the barriers for local candidates to join the law enforcement field and opportunities for the recruitment pipeline, and the changing personnel and training needs of departments. 

Participating departments includes the towns of Apex, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Rolesville, Siler City, Smithfield, Southern Pines, and Wendell, and the cities of Durham and Sanford.

2020 Marketing Campaign Work Plan


Department Perspectives
"Public safety is a critical component to quality of life, and we know that, when we collectively enhance public safety in the region, all our communities benefit. This opportunity to highlight the impact a person can make by serving as a police officer, or in a non-sworn capacity at any of our agencies, allows candidates to make a difference for their families, friends and neighbors while fulfilling their desire to serve." - Chief John Letteney, Apex Police Department
"It is in all our best interests to work together and help solve this problem. A diverse and qualified applicant pool benefits us all. I fully expect that this effort will result in attracting enthusiastic, people who are willing to serve our communities in a way that is consistent with our communities’ expectations.” - Assistant Chief Jabe Hunter, Chapel Hill Police Department
“The Smithfield Police Department decided to participate with the hopes of filling vacant positions with qualified applicants. I hope that it will highlight our agency and give us a larger pool of applicants for future vacancies.” - Chief Keith Powell, Smithfield Police Department
"Strategic recruitment efforts such as the Sandbox Challenge initiative at TJCOG assist with meeting our goals to attract qualified and diversified 21st Century law enforcement officers. The quality of law enforcement has always depended upon the quality of its officers. This new initiative helps us continue to attract applicants that reflect the needs of the Town of Fuquay-Varina while embracing the principles of community policing, public service and cultural responsiveness." - Chief Laura Fahnestock, Fuquay-Varina Police Department

"Our goal is to hire the most qualified, capable and committed candidates that will represent the values of the town and the police department. The partnership provides an opportunity to enhance our recruitment efforts by partnering with regional law enforcement agencies to share recruitment ideas and solutions, in hopes of reaching a wider and more diverse applicant pool”. - Chief Nick Polidori, Southern Pines Police Department

Innovative Beginnings
The partnership grew out of the 2019-2020 Sandbox Challenge initiative at Triangle J Council of Governments which focuses on testing new ideas and solutions for challenges faced by multiple communities. Through the Sandbox framework, solutions can remain flexible and agile while they develop to identify opportunities that will assist as many local governments as possible.