Communication is definitely key in the world of law enforcement. As a police officer, my staff taught me to always use communication before force. Unfortunately we don’t live in the Wild West anymore where we can just shoot someone for lying in a poker game or throw someone in jail just for suspicion. Now we as law enforcement officers we face judgmental critics on a daily basis. We have now entered debatably the most controversial era of law enforcement. Communication keeps us from having to fight someone or prevent a crime all together. According to the text and from my experience, there would need to be an interview process with each applicant. (Cordner, 2016) This is true with my employer also. The text states that this details each person’s verbal communication skills.
The best way to teach communication to recruits is to put them through classes and courses. In my academy our Sergeant taught us a one day course. Afterwards we had to verbally talk to each other to attempt to get information. The text also demonstrates that this is a decent way to obtain what you need to learn in the field of communication
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recent study conducted by Police Services revealed that five of the six most common actions taken by officers consisted entirely of talking and listening. These included interviewing, interrogating, lecturing or threatening, giving information, and giving reassurance (Cordner, 2014). Not everyone is great with communication skills, so it is important as a police administrator to be cautious of who hire. Although strength can be beneficial in many circumstance, common sense, maturity, good judgment, wisdom, intelligence, communication ability, and command of emotions can be even more important (Cordner, 2014).
As a police administrator, I would want to choose the best communicators from among the applicants. My first approach would be a face-to-face interview. I would look for confidence in the individual through eye contact, body position, voice tone, facial expressions, etc. I understand they will be nervous, but at the same time that I am a stranger to them, also will be the suspect, or the victim. Secondly, I would want to have a phase two interview in which the individual would be presented with different scenarios, and observe their reaction to each. Interpersonal skills is more of a trait, than it is something taught. However, training can help influence ones thinking, conditioning them for better outcomes. Although role playing and mock performances could never cover all aspects of policing, I believe it to be the most effective tool for communication. It should not be used with the same peers each time, but switched up. I would use this among my current officers at monthly, or even weekly meetings. It could even be done in relation to a previous episode to demonstrate a method that could have been done more efficiently. Most importantly, it should be used among new officers. Parallel to these demonstrations would be the negative outcomes from not using proper communication skills. I would show videos of different scenarios that had both positive and negative outcomes resulting from unnecessary force. I would then place those with better communication skills as FTO and have the rookies assigned to work with them, specifically focusing on the communication and results from the officer. Communication would be at the top of importance among our police department, not only among those we protect and serve, but also among the department and the officers.
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