Currently, there are numerous administrative and political issues with regard to the federal government that need to be solved. For instance, the United States deals with challenges in different fields, including national safety, healthcare, education, and social security. The federal government significantly ensures efficient national policies (Wolfe, Rojek, McLean, & Alpert, 2020). However, new social, economic, and political challenges emerge continuously, which means that solutions need to be found to ensure the well-being of society. This paper focuses on the problem of police training, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of this process in the United States.
The Overview and Importance of the Problem
For each country, the safety and security of its citizens are of great importance. Police officers play a crucial role in ensuring that public order is maintained at all times. They are often viewed as people that enforce the law and provide assistance to vulnerable populations and individuals in danger, which often leads to the use of force (Wolfe et al., 2020). Such aspects of police work emphasize the importance of relevant training and skills that employees must have in order to perform their tasks correctly. The interaction between police officers and the population is vital for public trust and cooperation. For instance, barriers, misunderstandings, mistrust, and negative attitudes toward police can lead to a lack of cooperation and compliance with rules (Wolfe et al., 2020). In some cases, offices of law rely on their position and do not make enough efforts to establish and strengthen their authority (Blumberg, Schlosser, Papazoglou, Creighton, & Kaye, 2019). However, officers must be qualified and capable of performing their duties in a professional and efficient way.
At the same time, there are various challenges that prevent effective police training. According to Fuchs (2021), the consequences of COVID-19 “illustrate a lack of digital preparation, equipment, and infrastructure, as well as a multitude of other challenges, which lie ahead of the police training” (p. 205). Furthermore, other difficulties include complex operations, cybercrimes, and lack of public acceptance as a result of racism demonstrated by some police workers (Fuchs, 2021). Overall, current training for law officers is characterized by advantages and disadvantages. It is insufficient to meet society’s needs fully, which means that the training process needs to be improved.
Advantages of Police Training
The main advantage of police training includes the development of relevant abilities and skills in employees. Di Nota and Huhta (2019) explain that police officers use “external cues from the environment, internal physiology, declarative memory of laws and regulations, and implicitly learned tactical skills” in their daily work (p. 1). Therefore, teaching the personnel to use various skills and knowledge can improve the quality of their decision-making. Training cultivates tolerance, dignity, and mutual respect, as well as helps to promote self-development. Another benefit of education is enhanced teamwork and communication with citizens (Di Nota & Huhta, 2019). Earning the community’s trust is essential for law enforcement and public order. Officers need to be able to communicate openly and handle conflicts in a professional way to maintain a positive image.
Besides, training can help teach officers to consider the cultural and practical context of their work. It is critical to prevent racial, gender, or other stereotypes within law enforcement to ensure the community’s trust (Di Nota & Huhta, 2019). In this regard, critical thinking and cultural awareness must become part of police education programs. Finally, training can prepare employees for working in stressful and changing environments (Blumberg et al., 2019). Police officers face various challenges, and it is essential to know how to handle them.
Disadvantages of Police Training
Currently, there are several disadvantages associated with the provided police training in the US. As noted by Fuchs (2021), “new forms of crimes have emerged in the last ten to twenty years, such as environmental crime, cybercrime” (p. 211). They contribute to the existing threats, including terrorism, violence, and refugee movements. Therefore, current training programs do not cover all the necessary aspects of police work in the contemporary context. There is a need to improve training and include new social problems and threats in the curriculum (Wolfe et al., 2020). Another disadvantage is the insufficient use of technology and digitalization. Fuchs (2021) emphasizes that “the COVID-19 pandemic helped to fuel the engine of the digital transformational process because it showed where the strengths and weaknesses of police training lie” (p. 209). Overall, there is a need to improve the educational process and focus on preparing the police workforce for working in a fast-changing environment. High ethical standards and critical thinking are essential aspects that need to be included in police training.
To conclude, police training in the United States is marked by both advantages and disadvantages. The main benefits of this process include the development of relevant skills, increased tolerance, dignity, respect, and the promotion of self-development. Besides, training contributes to enhanced teamwork, open communication with citizens, critical thinking, and cultural awareness. However, the disadvantages of the current approach include insufficient coverage of new threats, such as cybercrimes and environmental crimes, as well as a lack of digitalization and the use of technology.
Blumberg, D. M., Schlosser, M. D., Papazoglou, K., Creighton, S., & Kaye, C. C. (2019). New directions in police academy training: A call to action. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(24), 1-14.
Di Nota, P. M., & Huhta, J. M. (2019). Complex motor learning and police training: Applied, cognitive, and clinical perspectives. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1-20.
Fuchs, M. (2021). Challenges for police training after COVID-19. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, SCE 5, 205-220.
Wolfe, S., Rojek, J., McLean, K., & Alpert, G. (2020). Social interaction training to reduce police use of force. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 687(1), 124-145.