Many cultures may not have the same ideas of law that is present within American society, and sometimes people may break American laws without truly understanding that they have even committed a crime. This can create a conflict between cultures, when a police officer of one culture is enforcing a law that may not be quite understood or respected from the perspective of another culture (Swanson 2012). Because of such cultural differences in diverse societies, like the one present in the United States, police officers need to immerse themselves in cultural knowledge and education. It is extremely important for police officers to learn the values and set of codes of particular cultures encounter in the field in order to better communicate and serve back particular community (Swanson 2012). Officers need to be perspective and understanding of cultural differences, potentially making decisions based on such cultural understandings.
Police administration can employ a number of anticipatory strategies in order to reduce the possibility of potential dangers and hazards on the job for officers and citizens alike. For one, police agencies can use what is known as the CompStat system, which is short for computer comparison statistics. According to the research, this “is a multifaceted system for managing police operations” that is used to help incorporate communication between departments and spread information at a faster speed, thus increasing the rate of preventing crime (Godown 2010). CompStat can help spread news about dangerous criminals, putting them on Police Department’s lists well before they enter in to the district. Its primary goal is to allow police officers to know exactly what is happening as fast as possible, so that they can make quick decisions in the field and possibly prevent further incidences from occurring. The use of such systems helps empower local departments’ group communication and cooperation.
Secondly, certain operating procedures should be laid out in order to better provide an environment that prevents unnecessary accidents on the job. For example, many police agencies around the country have adopted policies that do not engage in high-speed pursuits. The research suggests that “each year in the United States, several hundred persons (including some police officers) are killed, and many others injured during the course of pursuits” and that “pursuit related accidents, injuries and deaths caused significant emotional and distress for officers, and frequently result in negative public relations for departments” (Ashley 2004). Engaging in dangerous and risky high-speed pursuits have come to bring a bad name upon various police departments, especially in urban districts where the risk for accidents are a lot higher. As such, many police departments have adopted policies were officers will hang back and not engage in a dangerous pursuit in order to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring. The degree of risk is often assessed in a matter of moments, and decision made by field officers as to whether or not pursue the vehicle or to hang back and wait for better circumstances to apprehend the subject.
Thirdly, one of the most successful strategies for crime prevention that can be used but police administrations is the use of community policing. Modern research suggests that “cooperation of the public is vital in providing intelligence to the police, keeping law and order, and implementing anticrime strategies” (Levitt 2012). Working with community members can be a powerful tool for helping prevent both youth and adult crimes. Also, community policing provides community members a greater sense of support from their police administrations, which increases their motivation to help walk rate with officers during investigations in the field.
Moreover, there is the issue of helping improve conditions for police officers themselves as a way to help increase their productivity and capacities on the job. Being a police officer includes enormous job-related stress. Often times, many ministrations will ignore that stress of the job, causing situations where individual officers might suffer stress and other mental conditions that plague their performance. This could potentially lead to mistake or their inability to perform their best in protecting the citizens around them. As a result, many agencies around the country have begun consultation and counseling programs, with third parties are brought in to help provide support for officers in need. Such programs teach “police supervisors how to deal with difficult people, how to manage stress, and strategies for Counseling police officers” (Levitt 2012). This helps increase the strength of the department increase the overall productivity of officers in the field, therefore reducing accidents and incidents.
Police budgets are largely tied to public funding. However, police budgets are not entirely static, and there are ways to increase potential budget resources, even in such a volatile economic time. Individual police departments can file for federal grants and funding programs so that they can use various program initiatives to help prevent crime within their districts (Swanson 2012). A number of government funding programs and initiatives help extend additional budget resources to police departments with a strong strategic plan for implementing a certain program accepted and promoted by federal sources. Yet, there are two other powerful supplementary resources for increasing a department budget — “the most promising avenues to be donation programs and asset forfeiture” (Kennedy 1993). The first year, the idea of using charity and philanthropy of members of the community to help supplement a police department budget. This would include using both private and commercial donations from around the community, involving both wealthy individuals and businesses that want to give back to their community and give themselves a nice tax break as well. Several major police departments use the strategy to increase their budget, with the Oakland Police Department raising over $750,000 in private donations (Kennedy 1993). This is a huge bump in finances that can help supplement an increasingly tight public budget. Moreover, there is the issue of forfeiting assets as a way to help increase funding potentials to meet Police Department strategic goals. According to the research, “the Miami Police Department netted 5.5 million over three years from seizing and auctioning property using criminal enterprises” (Kennedy 1993). This is essentially killing two birds with one stone, in taking away important financial resources from criminals and turning them around to use in law enforcement strategies in the form of increased budget potential.
Ashley, Steve. (2004). Reducing the risks of police pursuit. The Police Policy Studies Council. Web. http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Ashley/reducing_the_risks_of_police_pursuit.htm
Godown, Jeff. (2010). The CompStat process: Four principles for managing crime reduction. Police Chief Magazine. Web. http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display&article_id=1859&issue_id=82009
International Association of Chiefs of Police. (2006). Big ideas for smaller police departments. Bureau of Justice Assistance. Web. http://www.theiacp.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=s9KDRfxCCyw%3D&tabid=392
Kennedy, David M. (1993). The strategic management of police resources. Perspectives on Policing, 14(1993). Web. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/139565.pdf
Levitt, S. (2012). The police culture. Introduction to Police Culture. Sage Publications. Web. http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/38432_4.pdf
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