Effective Communication

Topics: Communication, Police, Nonverbal communication Pages: 6 (1096 words) Published: March 29, 2015


Cristi Scavone
Effective Communication Paper
Interpersonal Communications CJA/304
Mr. James Backus

Within in the lines of effective communication comes a verbal, and nonverbal technique. Theses are just a few of the components. Being able to verbally communicate with someone is an absolute must, especially in the law enforcement field. You have to acquire the skills to be able to communicate with the general public, request help from other officers in the surrounding area, advise all suspects of their Miranda rights, and inform your superiors that certain events have occurred. With that, verbal skills are required for all officers to comprehend and transmit any statements given by superiors, suspects, and citizens.

Nonverbal forms of communication include writing via reports, emails, etc. “Written communication skills are required for law officers to fill out various police reports, draft narrative summaries, and understand written policy directives.2 Written reports are the basis for recalling past events, and police officers rely on them daily when they testify in court. The ability to write in a clear and concise manner does not come naturally. Like any activity, it must be practiced until it is mastered. Once mastered, this skill must continually be used or it will become unfocused and useless. A professional athlete spends hours each day honing the skills necessary to participate in a sport. Police officers, however, may spend less than 10 percent of any shift writing reports about their activity”. (Wallace, Roberson, 2009).

Listening and hearing are two more forms of effective communication. Although both forms are essential, they do have their differences. These are also known as barriers. One type of barrier is called Semantic problems. This is defined as having the inability to agree on the meaning of a particular term, thus leading to lose the ability to communicate clearly. Listening and or hearing someone talk is one thing, but not being able to understand, transmit, or provide feedback is another barrier called ineffective listening. Reasons for this barrier could be from a boring conversation, lack of interest to the listener, the conversation could be too complex, or there could be too much distraction. “Four general variables are related to listening. First, the listener must have the ability, on the basis of experience, education, and oral proficiency, to absorb what is heard. Second, the speaker’s ability to transmit the message effectively affects the listener’s attention span. Third, the message being transmitted must be of interest to the listener. Fourth, the environment in which communication occurs affects the listener’s ability to receive the information”. (Wallace, Roberson, 2009).

In a Criminal Justice organization, there are two communication channels used known as, informal and formal. Formal channels are methods of communication in any type of police setting. This is where the organization will generally follow a chain of command. It is driven by directives, formal orders, and written memorandums. Formal channels provide a sense of security and order to police organizations. Informal channels can be considered as unofficial routes of communicating with the agencies. “Informal channels are used within a department in a number of situations. One of the most common is the interaction between detectives and patrol officers. At times, detectives approach patrol officers to ask for clarification of an initial report. Conversely, a patrol officer may remember something about a crime scene that was not recorded and go to the detective assigned to the case to discuss the matter and determine whether a follow-up report detailing the additional fact should be submitted to the detective’s sergeant”. (Wallace, Roberson, 2009). In short, these informal and formal channels of communication are like highways and roads on which any information passed on...
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