Cultural Understanding the Cultural Diversity Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

It is though cultural understanding that strangers become familiar and open to us. Law enforcement benefits from cultural understanding and steps that are taken to bridge the chasm between police and the communities they serve will ultimately benefit all parties.

Community policing is one method used to span the gap, the concept has generated widespread debate as to its effectiveness. In spite of the debate there are identifiable benefits to community policing. The first benefit of community policing is an increase in public safety (Thacher, 2001, p.765). Community policing brings together divergent elements in such a manner that it fosters the production of a safer environment. The increased safety is not only because police are physically present but also because law enforcement priorities are more in sync with the concerns of the communities they are asked to serve (Meares, 2002, p. 1595).

Another benefit of community policing is a change of perception of police behaviour. In areas where there is strong community policing there is a reduction of the perception of harassment by the police (Sherman, 1986, p. 346, Thacher, 2001, p. 769). Community groups join forces with law enforcement to eradicate the undesirable elements from within the communities. In areas where the police action may have been interpreted as harassment and even over reach, by partnering with communities and gaining their support this perception is vastly diminished.

Finally community policing may have an effect on the police themselves. It may boost the morale of the officers involved (Meares, 2002, p. 1595). Officers feel a sense of accomplishment when they are able to contribute to community cohesion and development. They are not simply solving crime or removing negative elements from the streets, they are actively improving the quality of life. The relationship between the parties has moved from suspicion and fear to trust. For many officers this is highly satisfying.

The need for a better relationship between the police and their respective communities cannot be overstated. The potential hazards for both parties as the result of a poor relationship are immense. Cultural understanding and tolerance create dynamic bridges are between the parties, this has a tangible and long lasting effect on both parties. Through the reduction of fear and mistrust the healing of communities can begin.

References

Gibson, J.L. And Gouws, A. (2000). Social identities and political intolerance:

Linkages within the South African mass public. American Journal of Political

Science, 44(2), 278-292.

Meares, T.L. (2002). Praying for community policing. California Law Review, 90 (5),

1593-1634.

Sherman, L.W. (1986). Policing Communities: What Works? Crime…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Gibson, J.L. And Gouws, A. (2000). Social identities and political intolerance:

Linkages within the South African mass public. American Journal of Political

Science, 44(2), 278-292.

Meares, T.L. (2002). Praying for community policing. California Law Review, 90 (5),

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