Diversity In Law Enforcement Research Paper

Diversity Law Enforcement Diversity in Law Enforcement

The United States culture has had a level of diversity ever since it's founding. In fact, the U.S. would called to potential immigrants from all over the world to come and join the "melting pot" of individuals that had different beliefs, religious practices, unique trade skills, and inventiveness. Despite the way the American society was originally constructed, there are still issues with racism and inequality in opportunities that are present today. Furthermore, the divisions in society include more points of conflict than ever before. There are polarizing lines drawn on topics such as abortion, gay rights, religion, and politics in general. Today's society is incredibly diverse and this level of diversity also requires that law enforcement organizations incorporate diversity into their organization as well to handle these challenges. By incorporating diversity into the law enforcement organization, it is possible to improve race relations, public attitudes towards police, police professionalism as well as minimize the potential for racial profiling. This paper will conduct a literature review on different aspect of diversity and how they relate to modern day law enforcement organizations.

Literature Review

The role of race can manifest in many ways in law enforcement activities. For instance there can be a racial bias in the way law enforcement professionals deal with criminal suspects that of different races. One social psychology study explored law enforcement officers' racial bias in decisions...


White suspects and also examined what factors contribute to officers' racial biases and the likelihood of having these biases eliminated (Michelle & Ashby, 2006). Through the use of survey about disposition of racial biases towards criminals of different backgrounds it was found that the officers' explicit attitudes toward Black people and their beliefs about the criminality and difficulty of Black suspects revealed strong relationships with the quality of their contact with Black people on the job and in their personal lives.
Officers who have a negative view about African-Americans, as opposed to those with more positive beliefs about the criminality of Black people, were more likely to tend toward shooting unarmed Black suspects on a shooting simulation. However, officers with positive contact with Black people in their personal lives were particularly able to eliminate these biases with training on the simulation. There are many applications of such findings that would be relevant to a police organization. First of all it is important to recognize the fact that a predisposing and opinion about race can have implications for law enforcement professionals and their performance on the job. If a person of any race holds a view that a certain race is more likely to commit a crime, then it is reasonable to suspect they would be more likely to have a presumption of guilt when they encounter members of this ethnicity; to the extent that they could even be more likely to shoot a member of this group before ascertaining the facts of the case.

There are other insights that are equally important. Creating a level of diversity within an organization, such as a law enforcement organization, is an important component of an education that can work to challenge the core of the racially biased discrimination that can impact job performance. For example, if a white officer who is racially biased works with an Afro American officer on the job, then he would likely realize that not all Afro Americans are criminals and his biasness is unfounded. Much of the racial biasness that persists in today's society comes from a lack of exposure to diversity. If someone never gets a chance to interact with members of different ethnocentric group, then they are more likely to create an unrealistic perception of this group. Therefore, having a diverse workforce in a law enforcement agency can help mitigate some of the racial discrimination that might be found throughout the organization.

There have been efforts…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Michelle, P., & Ashby, P. (2006). The Correlates of Law Enforcement Officers' Automatic and Controlled Race-Based Responses to Criminal Suspects. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 193-199.

Miller, A., & Segal, C. (2012). Does Temporary Affirmative Action Produce Persistent Effects? A Study of Black and Female Employment in Law Enforcement. Review of Economics and Stastics, 1107-1125.

Sklansky, D. (2006). Not Your Father's Police Department: Making Sense of the New Demographics of Law Enforcement. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1209-1245.

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