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Assessment of The Need for Cultural Competency Training for Police Officers

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There are many ways intercultural communication is used throughout the line of work related to police work. Intercultural competence is all the ways people use certain skills and knowledge to effectively communicate with others from different cultures. This is used throughout daily life including many people’s work life to allow them to effectively communicate with others and solve problems. Police work and how the communication across cultures to enforce the law best is the focus of the research paper.

This research by Amanda Leigh was mostly focused on the main job requirements of those who were crisis and hostage negotiators, what factors went into qualifying these situations, the ways we have gone about solving these issues in the past, present, and what we plan to change in the future. These statements were mainly focused on the state of Arizona. The qualification of a hostage situation would be if someone is taken forcefully without the intent of killing them and these usually occur during a crisis situation which is when a person is threatening violence. In the past, the situations were rushed and tried to be quick to fix the problem. Van Hasselt and Romano state “emphasizes the ‘slowing down’ of an incident, thus expanding the timeframe, allowing the subject to vent feelings”, as the previous tactics. In the future, their plans are to use the present tactics but allow the crisis negotiators to go through more training on different cultural normalities to allow the job to be done in a proficient way. While reading this research paper it brought about topics dealing with how the police succeed and fails when involved in crisis negotiations. To attempt to solve the crisis at hand in the best way possible there needs to be as much of an understanding of who was involved.

According to Halla (2014), “13. 4% of the state’s population is foreign born” meaning there is an absolute need to be aware of different cultures perspectives on things to ensure the best outcome possible. E. T Hall argued: The idea of low context cultures are Americans, Germans, Swiss, Scandinavians, and Northern Europeans organize our work life, relationships, and lives into categories. He also argued high context cultures rely heavily on context, and these cultures include Japanese, Arabs, and Mediterranean peoples. Allowing people in the line of work dealing with police work or more specifically crisis negotiators to have the insight to this information and looking deeper into different cultures it would allow for the crisis to have the most optimal outcome. Understanding different cultural norms such as the way they express emotions would allow crisis negotiators to work through the problem attempting to solve the issue with the minimal amount of damage.

The research done by Kyle Ward was about the ideas of police work, the community, and crime rates. The focus was about how police interact with the community could reduce the crime rates in the community. It discusses how when police are viewed as positive people within a community it allows for more crimes to be solved. This occurs due to the fact the people are more willing to cooperate allowing for a more functional society. It also stated the more the police understand those in the community the easier it will be to accomplish their job. The relationship between a police force and the surrounding communities need to be positive. According to Patterson, “In diverse communities, some residents may not report crime if they come from nations where police authorities and other law enforcement are corrupt and untrustworthy”, meaning that those involved in law enforcement need to set an example for themselves and as a whole. By setting a good example for the diverse community around you, you will then be able to further investigations with fewer setbacks due to an increase in cooperation. Schneider states, “At the very least, poor communication obstructs the effectiveness of policing, and community policing in particular. At the extreme, it can lead to violence and bloodshed”, explaining the extreme importance of good communication. When having poor communication it increases crime rates and reduces the number of cases solved.

By having positive communication it allows communities to cooperate with authority, better laws to be set in place dealing with crime, and the message can be told. By allowing the authority to have a diverse knowledge of cultures it would allow them to communicate better to others, allowing for the best outcomes in all situations of that job.

The source written by MacPhil explains the needed training for police officers. Guidelines for people being recruited have been set up from the Peace Officer Standards Training since 1959 as stated by MacPhil. It also explains possible programs that could be set up to further improve the way law enforcement interacts with the community. It brings up the idea of programs that exist out of the country. MacPhil believes that these changes are needed to further society as a whole. MacPhil focuses on the need for change in the way the authority, and the way they interact with others. She feels there is a lack in proper communication with authority and the community. Schäfer states “Police education should consider using “andragogy” as a method of learning which calls for a more self-directed learning that might be ideally met through foreign internship programs”, which she agrees with. MacPhil agreed with Schäfer’s theory. She believed that with more hands-on experiences with other cultures it would allow police officers to use that information to use it as best as they can. That information can be used to properly get messages across to diverse cultures and to know how to best interact with others based on their culture. T

here are different types of intercultural communication practices and beliefs that are used and valued in police work. A police officer would need to be able to find a balance of authority and a tone that would lead to compliance. To be able to have a cooperative community or even just an individual, the police officer would need to understand different cultures and how their trust can be earned in a small amount of time. A study was done in Canada stating that showed police were more accommodating and the citizens were more cooperative. By understanding different cultures they would also be able to find ways to accommodate the people they are talking to and these accommodations could be realized earlier if they had a well-spread canvas of understanding different cultures. I feel like if I had more time for this research paper I could understand other cultures’ authority/ police officers. I would then be able to compare different cultures and notice which succeeding at certain topics and which topics needed improvement. When police officers are rushed and stressed they could result in using stereotypes about certain people leaving little room for intercultural competence. There is not a lot of extra funding for police officers which limits the amount of training that they can enforce. Grants are available but they are an extensive process and not available for every police officer in the United States.

Throughout this research paper, I was able to learn ways around problems that on my own I could not have thought of. As well as learning new information I was able to have some previous thoughts verified through sources I was reading. I knew that the way police officers interacted with communities was lacking specific skills and knowledge but I would have never thought about requiring an internship somewhere foreign from where they live. I would also agree that this suggestion should either be strongly suggested or recommended to become a police officer. This subject would be able to further my learning within the classroom by allowing me to understand these topics can be applied throughout everyone life or job. The research subject should continue to further ways to knowledge police officers of cultures and how to best communicate with them to stay updated with society.

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Assessment of the Need for Cultural Competency Training for Police Officers. (2020, April 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from
“Assessment of the Need for Cultural Competency Training for Police Officers.” GradesFixer, 02 Apr. 2020,
Assessment of the Need for Cultural Competency Training for Police Officers. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 7 Oct. 2022].
Assessment of the Need for Cultural Competency Training for Police Officers [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Apr 02 [cited 2022 Oct 7]. Available from:
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