Communication Climate in Los Angeles Police Department


Efficient and effective communication is certainly a requisite for organizational success. A functional communication process enables an organization to coordinate its work of various departments and individuals well, institute a sustainable teamwork culture, mitigate conflicts effectively and establish long-term beneficial relationships with relevant stakeholders including customers, suppliers, financiers, shareholders, authorities, the wider society where it is situated, as well as donors in the case of not-for-profit organizations (Adler & Elmhorst, 2005). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the Communication climate in Los Angeles Police Department. It also seeks to find out the strengths and weaknesses of our organization’s communication process and describe the impacts of the management approach of our organization’s top management on our organization’s communication process.

Communication climate in Los Angeles Police Department

Generally, a typical communication process should have a sender, message, a medium through which the message is passed on to the receiver, and a recipient who does not necessarily need to know the intentions of the sender to communicate (Robbins & Judges 2009). Where necessary and possible the recipient should give feedback to the sender which determines how successful you have been in relaying a certain piece of information. It is well to note that where the sender and the receiver share a common platform like a common language and culture, communication is usually more successful than situations whereby such elements are absent (Robbins & Judges, 2009).

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is certainly a complex organization with over three thousand employees comprising uniformed officers and civilian staff. Apart from a large number of workers, being law enforcement and justice administration organizations charged with the responsibility of protecting people and their properties, it is always interacting with individuals, groups, communities, and other organizations (Psychology Press, 2003). Therefore, communication inside our organization and outside is inevitably critical to the successful delivery of security and justice services to the public. It is safe to argue that without a functional communication process our organization would hardly achieve its goals and objectives.

Being a law enforcement entity LAPD communication climate is largely dominated by a chain channel communication network. However, wheel and all-channel communication networks are also common. Communication in LAPD follows a set chain of command especially concerning the uniformed officers who are trained to execute commands as per their ranks within that chain. This ensures that necessary information related to the provision of security is relayed to the right officers to make their work easier. It is through that chain that officers are allocated duty daily.

The communication climate in LAPD is fairly employee-friendly especially since the introduction of reforms geared towards community policing. Thus, even though chain channel communication networks are usually rigid efforts have been made to establish trustworthy relationships between and among uniformed officers and other employees in LAPD. That trend has enabled our organization to minimize tension between employees and shun conflicting relations. A friendly communication climate within our organization has also enabled us to entrench a sustainable teamwork culture which has, in turn, made it possible for us to make great steps ahead in protecting people and their properties without fear or favor. It has also resulted in a change of public attitude towards our organization. Most members of the public have restored their confidence in us and are more than never willing and comfortable with seeking services from us and sharing with us important information that is relevant in the fight against various forms of crime.

As mentioned earlier, wheel and all-channel communication networks are also present in our organization which is highly multi-departmental and largely an open system under being in constant interaction with beneficiaries of our services who are the wider society. All-channel communication network is particularly common with teamwork arrangements within our organization.

Strengths and Weaknesses of our organization’s communication Process

Chain channel communication network is common all over the world in police administration where the discipline of the highest order is expected to be the norm of an organization like LAPD. Chain channel communication network is largely instructive and enables our organization to manage crises and handle detailed and complicated security or justice issues and problems (Ones et al, 2002; Kania, 2008). However, its excessive formality makes it insufficient in some situations in realizing unexpected communication needs because of its rigidity which can be worse in the case of authoritarian leadership style on the part of the top management.

On the other hand, all-channel communication networks which are largely informal enable our organization to make up for the weaknesses of formal communication (Ones et al, 2002). It facilitates effective communication in our organization since it permits employees to temporarily ignore rank, status, and power differences. It is also more advantageous than a chain channel communication network because it can be more precise than a formal communication network and have a shorter message chain (Ones et al, 2002). This network has enabled our organization to put up functional teams where individual members are offered an opportunity to share their opinions and ideas about a given task irrespective of their rank, power, or status. This in turn enables our organization to maintain workers’ morale since the network is integrative (Ones et al, 2002). Consequently, a recent survey has demonstrated remarkable positive changes in various employees’ job satisfaction realization which has in turn impacted positively upon the public who have reported genuine satisfaction with our services. Our relations with the wider communities have also tremendously improved positively.

Impacts of the management approach of our organization’s top management upon our organization’s communication process

Management approach and leadership styles of supervisors, managers, and executives play a critical role in determining how well communication flows within an organization. Fortunately, our organization’s top management approaches can be described as being largely integrative, informative-instructive, and participatory. Even though it is not uncommon to come across instances of totalitarian managerial approaches because of differences in personality, values, and emotional stability, our executives’ management approach has helped our organization to reduce the adverse effects of formal communication networks. For example, when the uniformed officers’ dissatisfaction with what they receive as allowances for extra work came to the fore and threatened the smooth running of our organization, the top management engaged their representatives in an amicable dialogue that left all parties satisfied. In short, our executives’ managerial approach facilitates efficient and effective communication in our organization even though it is not uncommon to come across cases of distraction now and then.


In summary, it is evident and even commonsense that how well communication flows in an organization determines how efficiently its work is coordinated and how well it is positioned to bring its employees and other relevant stakeholders together to facilitate the achievement of its goals objectives. As noted above, various types of communication networks have their pros and cons. However, whatever network is prevalent in a particular organization; the management approach of its executives plays a significant role in shaping its communication climate like in the case of LAPD.

Reference List

Adler, R. B., & Elmhorst, J. M. (2005). Communicating at work: principles and practices for business and the professions. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Kania, R. E. (2008). Managing criminal justice organizations: An introduction. Newark, NJ: Lexis Nexis Matthew Bender.

Ones, D. S. et al (2002).Handbook of industrial, work & organizational psychology: Organizational psychology, Volume 2. New York, NY: SAGE.

Psychology Press. (2003). Social Communication. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2009). Organizational behavior (13th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson/Prentice Hall.

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