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Police and Effective Communication - Articles Surfing

If there is one occupation where communication skills are an absolutely essential that is the job of a police officer. In terms of police officers and the jobs they are expected to do on the street, communications skills are so critical that they can spell life or death for the officer or others involved. On the job officers are required to talk to all different types of people and those people are in sometimes the worse situation they have ever been in. Police Officers deal with people of all races, cultures, ages, ethnicities and background. Having to deal with all different types of people, officers must know what each person expects to hear and what each person expects not to hear. As the United States is becoming more diverse in cultures, police officers need to be very careful dealing with the different cultures. What could be perceived as being normal in the officers culture may not be in dealing with certain ethnicities. For examples in some cultures and religions it is forbidden for women to speak with a man other than her husband. This can turn into a pretty difficult situation if an officer does not know this and insists on a female speaking with him. This works both ways as well as many ethnic groups coming to this country do not follow and agree with all of the rules we follow.

Police need to adjust their tone and attitude depending on the situation they are presented with. Police officers need to show sympathy and comfort victims and at the same time are expected to lay down the law and show assertiveness and authority. For some officers it is very difficult turning emotions on and off and police officers will never know what emotions and attitudes they will be presented with throughout a days work.

Police officers have to not only respond to stressful situations, they have to take control of them and get everyone to work together to resolve the situation. Officers are expected to put their own emotions on the side so that the situation at hand can be dealt with effectively. Police officers need to know how to deescalate a situation before the matter gets out of hand and they need to do so in a way that everyone involved in a particular situation agrees with. Examples of this would be a suicidal subject calls or calls involving the mentally ill. Both situations are very difficult for officers to deal with especially those officers who are faced with these calls absent any experience or training in how to deal with them. These situations are highly charges and volatile situations and proper communications is required for a successful resolution. Officers need to evaluate each situation and attempt to give in the needs of the subject but at the same time still showing authority as well. In situations like these just a few wrong works or actions could spell disaster for all that are involved.

An officer is only as good as him reports are. Not only is an officer expected to handle multiple calls a day they are also expected to document everything that takes place on those calls and then put that information into a report form for future use. Officer must be sure to put everything in there police reports and to do so in a way that everyone reading it will understand what they are stating. This becomes especially critical when a case goes to court and the officers police report is questioned and challenged by the defense.

The job of a police officer is very difficult one and having sharp communications skills is a required skill to have and will mean the difference between a successful officer and an unsuccessful one.

Submitted by:

Kenneth R Tapscott

Kenneth R Tapscott is a Criminal Justice major currently working in the law enforcement field. More information can be obtained at http://www.tapscott.info.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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