Identifying Barriers to Diversity in Law Enforcement

Topics: Race, Gang, Police Pages: 16 (527 words) Published: October 18, 2014
Our country, America is a melting pot of many different races, ethnic groups, and cultures, which occurred because of immigration. That is why our communities are known as multicultural communities. Our communities may consist of African Americans, Whites, Latinos, Chinese, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Indians. These multicultural communities experience prejudice actions from law enforcement. Prejudice means a judgment or opinion formed before facts are known, usually involving negative or unfavorable thoughts about groups of people (Shusta and Levine, 2010). Law enforcement tends to discriminate against individuals because of their race, culture, or ethnic background.

Law enforcement is now trying to figure out methods that they can use to improve their relationship with multicultural communities. Shusta and Levine (2010) offered some methods that can improve law enforcement in multicultural communities: (1) • Make positive contact with community group members from diverse backgrounds, don’t let them see you only when something negative has happened, and allow the public to see you as much as possible in a nonenforcement role, (2) Take responsibility for patiently educating citizens and the public about the role of the officer and about standard operating procedures in law enforcement and remember that citizens often do not understand “police culture,” (3) Don’t be afraid to be a change agent in your organization when it comes to improving cross-cultural and interracial relations within your department and between police and community, it may not be a popular thing to do, but it is the right thing to do, (4) Don’t appear uncomfortable with or avoid discussing racial and ethnic issues with other officers and citizens, and (5) Make a conscious effort in your mind, en route to every situation, to treat all people objectively and fairly.

In my community they are only Blacks and Puerto Ricans races, but they are a diverse cultures, such as the locals called Cruzan’s, Kittians, St. Lucians, Dominicans, Haitians, Antiguans, Nevisians, and many other Caribbean islands. In my community law enforcement is prejudice against the stereotypes of the individuals, such as members in gangs. For example if law enforcement is called to the community for a theft, they would suspect a gang member of committing the before they suspect a regular guy walking down the street. If they take time out to socialize with these so called gang members they would see a different side of them. Also getting to know the different cultures would allow having better communication skills with the citizens, and maybe the citizens would feel safer in open up to them and help them in the community. In a scenario in which a method would work would be: A patrol unit is patrolling the community a see a group of young boys sitting under a tree cooling out, they decide to stop and have a talk to the young boys, about what they’re doing and how is their life, and officers even tell them about their days when they was the same age as them, the boys know see that these officers are no different than them, and their just doing their duty. That shows that the boys and law enforcement is communicating and gaining trust within each other.
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