Sabbatical: A Human Capital Strategy




Yi, James

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Law enforcement agencies should consider sabbatical as a part of their human capital strategy. The total national turnover rate of full time sworn police officers is too high (Wareham, Smith, & Lambert, 2013). Recruiting, screening, selecting, and training are difficult and cost time, effort, and money (Evans, Christopher, & Stsoffel, 2000; and Weisberg & Kirschenbaum, 1991 as cited in Wareham, Smith, & Lambert, 2013). The lessons learned from academic institutions as well as private and public organizations demonstrate that well designed and implemented sabbatical program lowers turnover rate by improving retention and mitigating burnout (Yardley, Thie, Brancato, & Abbott, 2004; and Davidson et al., 2010). Being creative about eligibility, application, selection, support, and follow-up is important when law enforcement agencies develop a sabbatical program as a part of their overall human capital strategy because everyone is competing for scarce resources in the current era of doing more with less.