March 11, 2012
University Of Phoenix
“Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” -John C. Maxwell
One may assume that the roles of officers are just to catch us when we’re speeding, write a ticket and move on to the next person breaking the law. It would appear that way too many of us, but there is more depth, in the way an officer presents himself. While we find it insulting for an officer to say “How you doing mam’” after catching us going 40 in a 20 school zone, we must think of how much more aggravated we’d be in this situation had the officer used sarcasm, or had a cruel tone. “Good Morning, Mam’” seems more respectable and when you begin to explore the pressure on an officer you begin to see why many of them try to stay positive and communicate effectively.
Verbal and nonverbal communication is reoccurring and a large part of the day in the life of a Law Enforcement Agent. On every single work day there is numerous face-to-face interactions between an officer and citizen, or a small group. These interactions may occur in traffic encounters, interviews, media briefings, or conversations formal and informal. (Pritchett, 1993) For this very reason verbal and nonverbal communication must evolve into a mastered skill; as it’s important for each officer to represent himself in a respectable manner whether it is in in public, in the court room, with peers, employees, inmates and more importantly citizens of the community. When it comes to training with an officer it is more than just the physical training, but also the mental training, one must do to be successful. A good law enforcement officer must be able to properly speak to the public, testify with confidence, and write a grammar free report. A respectable image will make for a better public view of the officer, their departments and general attitude to law enforcement all together. (Pritchett, 1993)
Most police are not given adequate training in communication skills. Many understand to be kind, polite, firm when need be, how to recite Miranda rights and interrogate but also many fail to recognize how verbal and nonverbal communication works. Verbal communication involves a sender and a receiver conveying a message. These messages can be spoken words but can also be body language that is representing a statement. In police situations this is can be a chore when it comes to interrogation ; a police officer must obtain important material such as who, what, where, how and why, which often times, the answers to these questions, can vary when dealing with two different parties on the same situation. It’s important that the officer can take proper notations so later he can write in his report recapping both versions of the incident, and get a better idea of what was going on. It’s important that officers understand the situation and how it was told to them and how to retell this situation from the report in a court room setting. A police report is usually a beginning point of the court room scene and can determine the faith of an accused; it’s important the officer writes detailed notes so he can relate back to the event as well as provide accuracy. He must know the written work and have confidence as he verbally retells these events. An officer that comes off as insecure or insure of a situation may hinder a jury from a factual belief. Likewise- many police must deal with important matters in front of the media on various occasions either through news reports, public speeches, or when running for a higher officer position; these situations as well require a sense of confidence from an officer. As stated, many officers must discuss important matters in the face of the public in attempts to calm a tense situation, or to be there to reassure and provide confidante within the community after a tragedy. When we think back of tragic events such as...