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policy manual

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Robert Rockwell LEPSL 510: Communication for Law Enforcement Leaders University of San Diego: Professional & Continuing Education Effective communication is crucial to all aspects of life. If a person is unable to relay a thought, feeling, idea, or command without disruption or distortion, there can be no understanding. This is true for
Transcript
  Robert Rockwell LEPSL 510: Communication for Law Enforcement Leaders University of San Diego: Professional & Continuing Education Effective communication is crucial to all aspects of life. If a person is unable to relay a thought, feeling, idea, or command without disruption or distortion, there can be no understanding. This is true for all aspects of daily communication in any context. However, in the profession of law enforcement, the stakes are raised, and the room for error in delivering a misconstrued message is slim. Law enforcement is unique compared to any other profession in the way that on a daily  basis any given offic er must put on several different “faces.”  An officer could have the face of a  professional role model to high school kids. It could be the face of sympathy and support to a recent robbery victim. It could be the face of an intimidating lawman trying to quell a suspect. It could be the face reinforcing an entire agency’s viewpoint, or even the face  bearing the blame for the entire agency. These faces all communicate differently, and it is imperative that each face delivers a clear and concise message that results in absolute understanding. This policy manual will cover five key areas of communication that a law enforcement officer can and will encounter throughout their career. The primary areas of focus will be inter-agency communication, intra-agency communication, communication with the public, communication with those involved in a crime, and online communication. Each area requires a different skill set to navigate through potential challenges, however, a balanced set of communication skills will be sufficient to complete just about any task involved in each category.  Inter-Agency Communication Goals:      Identify what type of communication styles work best when proactively reaching out to connect with other organizations or agencies.    Develop communication strategies designed to build relationships of cooperation and trust with  partnering agencies.    Identify communication techniques designed to maintain positive, collaborative relationships with law enforcement partners. Successful law enforcement requires a team effort. This is not just accomplished by members of the department, but also by those who are proactively working in the community. 1)   Determine who in the community (law enforcement and civilian) can help  benefit the goals of the police department in bettering the community.   a)   What needs to be done?    b)   Who can help us accomplish these goals?   c)   What resources are necessary in order to get the job done? 2)   Determine the best way to contact these members of the community (law enforcement and civilian), and establish a relationship with them through  partnership with a common goal in mind.   a)   Designate a public relations officer or team that is in charge of all community activities and events.    b)   Conduct weekly or bi-weekly meetings to set goals, share ideas, and update progress.   c)   Involve all necessary community members.   d)   Keep a positive outlook, and work together.  3)   Positive partnerships build trust, and trust helps facilitate success. a)   Share your success stories.  b)   Continue to work toward shared and achievable goals. c)   Maintain a positive attitude.    Intra-Agency Communication      Identify the strengths and weaknesses of different management styles.    Identify different methods of conflict resolution to be used in different situations. Communication within the police department helps set the tone for each of its members. Leaders in the department play a large role in morale building, positive attitudes, and the overall perception of each employee. 1)   Types of management a)   Consistency- Managing the same way with each employee. Ensuring there are no favorites, and everyone is equally valuable to the team’s success.  b)   Personal Touch- Managing using your own personal history. Not overbearing with stories about yourself, but bringing policy and procedure to life through your personal knowledge and experience. c)   Tone Setting- Ensuring you as a leader are following all policy and  procedure. Do as I do mentality. Set the example. d)    Negotiation- Finding a balance between both sides. Not making every decision or policy black and white, rather, maintaining an open mind on a case by case basis. There is no one absolute correct management style. Remember that each type has pros and cons to its approach. You must learn which style works best for you and your team, and adopt it. Create consistency in your style and your demeanor, your team must know what to expect from you in order to be successful. 2)   Conflict resolution methods a)   Make sure maintaining a good relationship is your priority.  b)   Separate the person from the problem. c)   Listen first and talk second. Determine what the problem actually is. d)   Paraphrase to ensure you know what is being said and what the other party involved desires from the outcome. e)   Explore resolution options together. Make a joint-effort to solve.    Communication with the Public    Identify messaging techniques that maximize the amount of non-confidential information agencies are permitted to reveal to the general public.    Develop public communication skills as a law enforcement professional that can be used in different venues, from a press conference to a town hall meeting.    Describe which types of communication techniques are most effective when speaking as an individual, and in a representative capacity. Communication with the public is the crux of law enforcement. Each situation an officer encounters is dynamic and potentially volatile. It is the duty of each officer to be able to communicate his or her end goal with zero interference. In order for this goal to be accomplish the officer must choose the correct method of communication. This is determined by several different factors including the urgency of the message, the nature of the message, and the receiver of the message. 1)   Each police department must determine the best way to send a particular message. These messages can contain simple information such as traffic updates, and weather/road conditions, or more urgent information such as amber alerts, and riot/natural disaster information. Determine what vehicle or method of transmission of your message works best. a)   Urgent information should be passed using a method targeting large volumes of receivers. Examples: Signs, billboards, text message alerts, radio broadcasts.  b)   Other important but not urgent information can also be passed through the urgent methods listed above, however, typically this type of information is passed through newspaper, television, and other news media outlets c)   High profile information is typically passed through the form of a  press conference. This type of message signifies the importance of the matter, and it typically done by a public information officer, or higher ranking member of the department. 2)   Law enforcement members are expected to know how to communicate multiple different messages using various forms of methods.
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