I continue to hear law enforcement trainers and leaders refer to Millennials (Gen Ys) as “these kids coming on the job”. While the actual date range for when Millennials were born varies depending on the source, most use 1980 to 1982 as the starting point. Stop for a minute and do the math.
Some of “these kids” are 34 to 36 years old. They are your senior patrol officers, your trainers, your Sergeants, Staff Sergeants, Lieutenants, Inspectors and even your Captains. You may well be a Millennial.
And yes, they are also your 22 year old recruit starting out in the academy.
The point is that we need to stop referring to an entire generation as “these kids coming onto the job now”. They have been coming onto the job, and some have been on the job, for years.
We also need to stop with the negative generalizations about The Millennial Generation being selfish, entitled, and not willing to put in the time. This is a generation of men and women who are referred to as “The Next Greatest Generation” for a reason. They are service oriented, connected and want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
As a trainer you have at least three generations in your agency and attending your training. Do some reading or take some courses to learn about the strengths of each generation.
The Millennials are the future of our profession. In the coming years they will be the command staff at your agencies. They will be the Chiefs and Sheriffs. Lets celebrate what they bring to the profession and figure out the best way to support each other, build off the strengths of every generation and advance our training and our profession.
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