Effects of Verbal Communication

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Verbal Communication
Communication of all types can be found everywhere. It does not necessarily have to be spoken or oral, it can be found in verbal and nonverbal forms. This is especially true in the areas of the criminal justice system. Communications can be found in equipment, reports, phones, in roll call, or everyday operations. For police officers and other members of the criminal justice system, communication in some form or type can always be certain. It may be in the form of verbal communication, such as roll call, talking with the public, talking to peers, inmates, administration, or supervisors. It is said that nearly 70 percent of one’s time is spent communicating (2009). Officers or those appointed by the department, talk to the media on a daily basis. Whether it is the television, the newspaper reporters, or the radio, it is on a daily basis. For law enforcement officials there is the need to communicate with the press from time to time. This could be to talk about public affairs, providing information about a situation that the police are involved in, or to make announcements. It is common in most areas that law enforcement appoints a spokesperson for the department. This person chosen represents the community and the department, along with all officers. This person must have the intelligence and the ability to speak clearly and in a concise manner, and have the ability to understand questions if asked. He or she should have some clear understanding of what the media only needs to hear. One way to assure this is to him or her draft a statement, before making the announcement to the press. When drafting the announcement and when reading the announcement, the person should avoid using what is called police jargon or codes. Using such language can be confusing to the general public and may cause confusion with the press. When talking to the press he or she should be able to avoid being distracted and should keep eye contact with those who he or she are talking to. Nonverbal communication between the press and officers can also have a confusing effect at time. “Sometimes nonverbal messages may contradict verbal; often they may express true feelings more accurately than the spoken or written language (Murphy & Hildebrandt). For nonverbal communication, the situations that he or she may want to be careful with can include the stance. There should be no slouching or leaning on the podium. This gives an appearance of the press seeing that he or she either does not want to be there or it could show disinterest. The spokesperson choose vocabulary carefully also. He or she may want to use a friendly tone also, and avoid using emotions during the press release. This must remember that the press usually ahs cameras somewhere that records everything that is said verbally and nonverbally, which may cause some confusion. The courtroom is another place that communication is done daily. Within this setting the law enforcement officer or other personnel, may be called to testify for the prosecutor. Communication in the courtroom setting for police, prosecutors, defense, the suspect, judge and jury, all play a crucial part. The officer when called to testify, should have the ability to understand the questions clearly, is able to listen effectively, and be able to explain the facts written in his or her report. The affidavit is based on the facts that have been written in the officers’ incident report. There may be situations or times when an officer feels uncomfortable, while sitting or standing in a group of other people. Or he or she may fill uncomfortable when having to be in front of the others in the courtroom. The officer should never let emotions or nonverbal cues cloud his or her testimony. During cross-examine; the reputation of the officer could be misinterpreted. Before testimony officers should try to talk to the prosecutor to learn what to expect. He or she may want to practice the testimony also. Being able to...
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