The relationship between law enforcement officials and ordinary citizens of the state is ambiguous. Opinions about the work of law enforcement agencies can be formed both through personal experience and the consumption of external information from various sources. Considering the article “Factors That Influence Public Opinion of the Police,” by expanding their informal contact with people, police authorities can improve public opinion (Ashcroft et al., 2003). In contrast, improving official communication channels and delivering information, and introducing new technologies can positively affect the relationship between law enforcement agencies and civilians.
What concerns the rhetorical critiquing form, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of social media, networks, and visual content in the relationship between police officers and civilians. The media unaffected residents’ acceptance of police work performance or perceptions of officers’ attitudes (Ashcroft et al., 2003). This means that despite any information launched into the communication space, it did not have a strong influence as other aspects that impacted people’s opinions.
At the same time, there is evidence that a stock photo and the semantic load it contains can be of great importance. According to the researchers, individuals who had previously been stopped by an officer and viewed a photo of a pleasant encounter between authorities and citizens demonstrated differences in opinions (Wozniak, 2021). They saw more frequent police misbehavior than those who had not recently been stopped in the identical experimental setting (Wozniak et al., 2021).
In a nonexperimental study, regular media exposure was shown to be strongly connected to police attitudes (Wozniak, 2021). Therefore, visual content and media currently have an impact on how people think about the work of police departments. It can be concluded that due to the high prevalence of information and communication technologies, the available media content can change public opinion in a positive and negative direction.
Referring to the critiquing form represented by the introduction of an idea, it can be stated that wearing body-worn cameras is one possible way to improve the reputation of the police among civilians. One of the communication problems described in the article is that a large number of people have an exclusively official and state template for communicating with officers. According to the findings from the paper, residents who had informal police encounters had higher positive feelings about the police than residents who had official connections (Ashcroft et al., 2003). In this situation, for people who do not have informal relations with police officers, there is a need to create conditions that will provide them with a true picture of the work of law enforcement agencies.
The introduction of body-worn cameras in the work of the police is a proposal for improving the situation of trust through official communication channels. Body-worn cameras are frequently regarded as a method for improving police-community relations and enhancing police credibility (Sousa et al., 2017). People are mainly favorable in their confidence in the capabilities of body-worn cameras to promote transparency, trust in police, and police-citizen interactions, with some modest variances by race (Sousa et al., 2017). With the help of this technology, people get access to more truthful information without having informal connections and contacts in the environment of law enforcement agencies.
What concerns reflection, it is essential to emphasize the personal experience of people, which demonstrates the initial reasons for the emergence of definite opinions about the police. Considering the research results from the article, residents’ perceptions of the degree of crime and disorder in their area played a big role in how they felt about the policemen (Ashcroft et al., 2003). According to the study, officer-community connections are challenged in disorganized neighborhoods and neighborhoods with inadequate social coherence and control (Ashcroft et al., 2003). Despite many external factors that can influence certain aspects of an individual’s life, there is an initial experience of communication, which is the basis for the formation of a specific thought.
A person, living through certain situations, both negative and positive, based on his feelings in that specific period, can form his further vision regarding individual events. Since the work of law enforcement agencies is largely aimed at preserving human life, an objective view of what is happening is necessary for this matter. The active dissemination of truthful and accurate information will reduce the influence of personal experience on the formation of opinions regarding police work.
To summarize, people who had been stopped by a policeman and had seen a picture of a friendly meeting between officials and a person had differing perceptions. Due to the widespread use of information and communication technologies, media coverage may influence public opinion positively and negatively. Considering formal channels of distributing information, it can be stated that special equipment, including body-worn cameras, can improve the reputation of the police among civilians. Despite the numerous external circumstances that might impact various areas of a person’s life, there is a first communication experience that serves as the foundation for the construction of certain thinking. Personal experience will have less effect on the formation of attitudes about police if true and impartial information is actively disseminated.
Ashcroft, J., Daniels, D. J., & Hart, S. V. (2003). Factors That Influence Public Opinion of the Police. U.S. National Institute of Justice. Web.
Sousa, W. H., Miethe, T. D., & Sakiyama, M. (2017). Inconsistencies in Public Opinion of Body-Worn Cameras on Police: Transparency, Trust, and Improved Police–Citizen Relationships. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 12(1), 100-108. Web.
Wozniak, K.H., Drakulich, K.M., & Calfano, B.R. (2021). Do photos of police-civilian interactions influence public opinion about the police? A multimethod test of media effects. Journal of Experimental Criminology 17, 1–27. Web.