Joseph T. Geller

Brookline Police Department Recruitment/Hiring

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

The town of Brookline is a municipality in eastern Massachusetts, surrounded on three sides by the city of Boston. We have a population of 54,000 people. The Brookline Police Department has 140 sworn officers. Our officers strive to meet the Department's Mission Statement which reads:

"To work in partnership with our citizens to ensure all people will enjoy a high quality of life without fear of crime. To work together to solve problems and provide the most responsive and highest quality police service. To proactively prevent crime, maintain order, and apprehend offenders in a manner consistent with the law."

Our values:

The Department subscribes to a set of governing values that state its beliefs as a police organization. They are as follows:

  1. The most important asset of a police organization is its personnel.
  2. Excellence for the members of the Brookline Police Department is based upon fairness, integrity, hard work, and professionalism in the performance of their duties.
  3. Commitment to providing the highest quality of professional law enforcement with the goal of enhancing the quality of life within the community.
  4. Build partnerships with citizens in order to ensure personal safety, protect individual rights, protect property, and promote individual responsibility and community commitment.
  5. Secure and maintain public respect in order to fulfill the department's duties by acknowledging that the quality of life in the community is affected by not only the absence of the fear of crime, but also the absence of crime itself.

2. When was the program created and why?

Our Mission Statement is only a portion of the total efforts of this department to meet the needs of our diverse community. As a result of a population study conducted in 1996, we concluded that our police department's diversity did not reflect the ethnicity of the community that we serve. Therefore in 1996, we implemented the following recruitment programs, which sought out qualified minority candidates.

  • We have designated our Internal Affairs Lieutenant to handle our recruitment efforts. The lieutenant has attended seminars sponsored by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Human Resources Division, which focused on recruitment issues in general, and minority recruitment specifically. The lieutenant has distributed department information as well as examination material to several local colleges, i.e., Boston University, Northeastern University, Roxbury Community College, Newbury College, Brookline High School, The Resource Center for Russian speaking peoples and numerous public buildings. We have also printed information in the Brookline Tab, Bay State Banner and other inner city publications.
  • For the past two years, members of the Community Service Division of the Brookline Police Department have participated in "Career Day" in the local schools and colleges with majors/concentrations in criminal justice. We have participated in many community activities which have enhanced the image of the Brookline Police Department such as Citizen Police Academies, Martin Luther King Day events, Israel Independence Day Celebration, Asian Heritage Day, Russian Day, Flag Day Celebrations, and A Day of Dialogue. It is our hope that people will support our efforts and realize that the Police Department is a great organization in which to establish a career in policing. The Commander of the Community Service Division writes a monthly column for the Brookline Tab, imparting information about our agency to Brookline’s fifty-four thousand residents.
  • Because of these efforts, Brookline’s Police Department has recently hired our most diverse recruit class of this century. Included in the class of fourteen officers, was one African-American female, one Hispanic male, one African-American male and one Russian male officer. Three females were added to our department with this class.
  • Departments, which are constrained by civil service law, should be encouraged by our results. Departments should target minority candidates and not sit back and wait to be approached by qualified minority candidates.

3. How is the program financed?

We did not receive any funding from the US Department of Justice.

For more information, please contact:


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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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