Assigned to represent the Atlantic City, New Jersey Police Department, the officer responded to a series of questions raised by journalists and the public. The issues were including the boundaries of the authority of a police official, and the ability of police and the public to interact. The Public Relations Officer also raised a number of specific problems related to working in this city itself with its peculiarities.
The conversation began with the officer outlining the state’s main agenda in the fight against crime. Having informed that three years ago the chief was changed in the department, the officer emphasized certain changes in the department since that moment. Referring to the news headlines, the officer noted that over the past three years it has been difficult to find official information about any excess of the powers of the representative of the law in this city. At the same time, the news in 2017 and 2018 was replete with reports of police attacks on citizens and acts rife with cruelty. A spokesman for the department stressed that police violence is ethically unacceptable, and the police will strive to eradicate such phenomena and prevent them in the future.
When asked what exactly the police should do in order to combat moral corruption within their system, the officer proposed several options being developed. First of all, according to him, it is necessary that police officers avoid professional deformation, that is, distortion of the personality under the influence of shocking impressions in the service. Police officers are doomed to see horrific things and sometimes have to take deeds that are difficult to live with afterward. The ethical suffering experienced by the police officer must be handled with effective psychological support, with the help of qualified counselors.
One must understand, the officer emphasized, how important the psychological health of a police officer and its preservation. At the same time, it is important not only to provide quality assistance but also to conduct constant psychological testing, which should reveal the psycho-emotional state of police officers. The internal balance of a servant of the law can help prevent such brutal abuse of authority and avoid the accidental tragic outcome of a possible critical situation.
What is equally important, technical innovations of the last decade have contributed to the department’s control over its police officers, the spokesman said. According to him, each police officer now has a portable camera built into his uniform, which allows the police department to track all his actions. Although not immediately, it gave tangible results, allowing one to monitor the actions of the servants of the law and exact and efficiently recover from them in case they exceed authority.
Speaking about what methods of socialization can be used by the police in modern realities, the representative emphasized the undeniable creep of technology. Technological innovations, he said, allow lawyers to interact more closely with society, but in a way that does not seem as a violation of personal boundaries. The officer cited a statistical study that noted that the more police officers participate in various social networks, the more this increases the guess rate in the investigation process (Beshears, 2017). The police officer’s involvement in social media without the need to invade personal confidential data demonstrates a progressive advocate of justice. Their ability to use social media as a modern tool can actually help solve crimes.
Focusing on the situation surrounding police brutality, which has caused such concern among the public in recent years, the officer assured reporters that this problem is being actively eradicated. Moreover, their city has something to boast about, since statistically, the rate of murders of citizens by police against the background of other cities is one of the lowest (Edwards et al., 2018). Of course, such tragedies should happen less and less, and the officer emphasizes that the methods of monitoring police officers’ discipline and organizing the work of the department are being improved.
Social media should become a new and free platform for law and society to enter into an open dialogue. The officer stressed that society has a right to criticism, and the task of the police is to be able to listen to it, draw conclusions and correct their mistakes. Serving the community is their top priority, which is why every police officer has a responsibility to keep their open social media ethically clean. Tolerance and the principles of equality should be obvious categories for any law enforcement officer, so working with ethical trainers should be a ubiquitous practice in the training of any police officer.
At the end of the interview, the officer emphasized that the recruitment of police officers itself is as inclusive as possible. Any adult who has passed the state exam, internal exam and driving test can work for the police. Therefore, it is important that precisely in this cell of society there is no room for intolerance, racial strife and unwillingness to understand a representative of another social group.
Beshears, M. L. (2017). Effectiveness of police social media use. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 42, 489–501. Web.
Edwards, F., Esposito, M. H., Lee, H. (2018). Risk of police-involved death by race/ethnicity and place, United States, 2012–2018. American Journal of Public Health, 108(9), 1241-1248. Web.