CulturalSpecifics for Law Enforcement
Inthe recent past, the United States of America has witnessed a steadygrowth in the composition of its citizens. Today there are biggerproportions of residents who trace their origin from Asia, Africa andthe Latin parts of North America. Numerous harassment complaints havebeen filed by people originating from this background based on theirrace. According toShusta, R. Multiculturallaw enforcement,diversity within the population calls for multicultural lawenforcement authorities, which would ensure proper representation ofall groups of people and demands for improved resources to handle thechallenges of dealing with people originating from the minoritybackgrounds in a manner that they will not feel threatened ordiscriminated.
CulturalSpecifics for Law Enforcement: Issuesin law enforcement contact with African Americans, Hispanic Americansand Asian Americans.
Theproblems that existed years ago concerning the interaction of lawenforcement with the minority groups persist today. Law enforcementofficers with cultural awareness, better serve the needs of citizensand exhibit actions that take into account the cultural context oftheir interactions with different races of the citizens(Shusta, R. Multiculturallaw enforcement).It is important to develop and regulate culturally competentprinciples that guide the attitudes and interactions of policeofficers with these culturally diverse groups.
Theblack people express less confidence it the services of the localpolice than the whites in such aspects as cultural competence(Sereni-Massinger, C. & Wood, N. (2016).It is the combination and processing of information about a caste ofpeople into specific standards attitudes and practices used in theappropriate cultural setting for improved quality of servicesprovision. There are low standards of cultural competence forminority groups in the country. For instance, in the Huffington post,2013 September fifteenth, talks about the tragic death of JonathanFerrell, who was a University football player. He ended up being shotto death by a white police officer when he went seeking for helpafter he had suffered a fatal car crash.
Anotherplace of concern is the lack of diversity in the recruitment, ranks,and representation of these groups in the police departmentsthroughout the country. The commission’s findings in 1981 were thatthe underutilization of minorities and women in the country’s lawenforcement departments put pressure on their ability to functionproperly thereby increasing the possibility of tension and violence(Sereni-Massinger, C. & Wood, N. (2016).
Accordingto Sereni-Massinger,C. & Wood, N. (2016), membersof these groups show the lack of interest in joining the lawenforcement departments and remaining in them. The groups look uponthe police force with a lot of prejudice. The commission learned thatthe Hispanic community in Washington D.C. looks at police departmentsas oppression symbols. They also found a deep, long-standing conflictbetween colored communities and the police in Los Angeles. They foundthat colored officers suffered the same discriminatory behavior andharassment from fellow officers as the civilians do. Female officersreported sexual discrimination, and harassment within the policedepartments was forcing them to leave the force.
Thereare overall biases that seem to exist in the police recruitmentsystem blocking out many colored people(Fitch, B. (2015).The Hispanic and Asian Americans living in areas with big immigrantpopulations may be regarded ineligible in spite of their citizenshipstatus. Despite residing in the United States for decades, many Asianand Hispanic immigrants have not acquired citizenship. This factormay account for the significant racial and ethnic disparity among lawenforcement officers.
Accordingto the constitution, there should be equality in access to qualityservices and no discrimination by any aspect. All the citizens shouldbe treated equally. In a public location, there is the need to have aculturally diverse law enforcement authority. Many blacks, Asians,and Hispanics in the United States believe that a city’s policedepartment composition should be reflective of the city’s racialcomposition(Fitch, B. (2015).Such diversity can initiate trust building and confidence in thepolice: the more reflective the police department is to thecomposition of the residents, the more the authority’s reputationamong its citizens. Diverse police force helps to rule out the senseof discrimination for instance, the perception that individuals arebeing stopped and questioned because of their racial identity.
Accordingto Fitch,B. 2015, in their efforts to maximizetheir deterrent and enforcement with the minority groups, the policeforces have adopted some approaches. In those areas with a highercomposition of the colored people, they have resolved to appointofficers from their races. This method would help especially in theprocessing of intelligence information. It would be easier for ablack officer to gain confidence with the residents of a city highlyoccupied by the black people. It would also be easier for the cityresidents to cooperate with a black officer than a white officer.
Therehas been a change in the recruitment process whereby there is lessemphasis on the physical traits of the officers intended toparticipate in the recruitment process. Other aspects such asacademic competencies and performance skills are applied. Theseapproaches opened up opportunities for more officers from theminority groups to be absorbed into the police force(Sereni-Massinger, C. & Wood, N. (2016).Other regulations such as gender composition have been put in placeto ensure the efficient representation of the minority groups in theforce.
Propertraining of the officers is crucial to dealing with these groups ofpeople. Proper training on modes of interactions with constituentsand cultural competencies should be prioritized. The behavior of thepolice must portray sensitivity to increasing changes such ascommunities being served to realize the mandate of service andprotection. Inadequate training can be associated with cases wheresome officers refrain from intervening in controversial situationsand use of improper approaches. For instance, to great gatherings,aggressive police action will create a violent reaction. Officerswith limited training tend to rely on the use of force to achieveorder(Shusta, R).The introduction of community policing where there is a partnershipbetween the law enforcement and the minority groups may help toidentify and solve their problems.
Therecruitment process should be tailored in such a way that there areenough reservations that are specifically to be taken by members ofthese groups. Firm action should be taken against the offenders andon any form of discrimination. The police officers should work in theareas they live as this would create familiarity between them andthose they serve and hence ease the process of service provision.Incentives such as hiring bonuses should be advanced to the membersof the minority groups to encourage them to recruitment.
Theproblems that existed years ago concerning the interaction of lawenforcement with the minority groups persist today. Few amendmentshave been made, but they are not enough to fully engage these groupswith the law authorities. Concrete steps have to be put in place toenhance efficiency in the delivery of services to these groups.
Fitch,B. (2015). Conflict Management: Strategies and Skills for LawEnforcement Leaders. LawEnforcement Executive Forum, 15(3).http://dx.doi.org/10.19151/leef.2015.1503e
Sereni-Massinger,C. & Wood, N. (2016). Improving Law Enforcement Cross CulturalCompetencies through Continued Education. JournalOf Education And Learning, 5(2),258. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jel.v5n2p258
Shusta,R. Multiculturallaw enforcement.