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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Essay on Cultural Diversity Training in Law Enforcement
It is once stated that “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the class of law enforcement it insists on." One good thing about the issue of discrimination by police officers is that something can be done about it.
Because of the repercussions of racial discrimination and insensitivity to racial differences law enforcement officers must take the initiative to train their officers so that they truly understand the real meaning of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity training helps the police officers break free from the bondage of racial bias and prejudice. It helps the police officers understand that they are not apart from the community but they are a part of the community.
Only training and education can help law enforcement officers to understand and realize what cultural diversity is and how to manage it within the department. While it is true that there is no training program that can automatically change one’s attitudes and perceptions, but the appropriate education and training, coupled with effective monitoring and enforcement strategies, can help encourage positive behavior from law enforcement officers. In addition, sensitivity training can help police officers develop new skills which may help in the performance of their responsibilities such as development of interpersonal skills. Moreover, sensitivity training also helps police officers become aware of their own bias, prejudices and attitudes towards other persons.
Among the benefits of cultural diversity training for law enforcement officers is that first and foremost it reinforces the concept of team building among the members of the police department. If the police department is determined to be able to represent the needs of the community, they must first be aware of their own differences. They must first appreciate each other’s differences within the department. They must also understand that they are a team and that teams act as one unit. Moreover, cultural diversity training helps them examine their own stereotypes and cultural assumptions. It helps police officers examine their own behavior towards other people. They also learned different ways of perceiving others and how other persons perceive them and how this impacts on the performance of their own duties and responsibilities.
It must however be stressed that cultural diversity training is not done overnight. A person’s attitude and behavior is not changed overnight. A person’s behavior does not change overnight. There must be a commitment on the part of the department to learn from their mistake and to appreciate each other’s differences.
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