Cultural Diversity & Law Enforcement

Thompson, Nathaniel D.
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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)

Law enforcement is an institution that was developed from values that resonate from rights and powers that were given by society. John Locke, the English Philosopher, also known as the “Father of Liberalism,” and others gave life to this line of thought. This was the emergence of the social contract theory. The idea that society wants to govern is incorporated throughout the original established government in the United States, through documents such as the Articles of the Confederation and the Declaration of Independence. The United States has accepted all ethnicities and religions to exist under one platform and one government. The statue that stands in New York harbor promotes the idea of diversity in this country and is a constant reminder that the United States builds the country on these principles. Though the American culture has grown to be multi-cultural, police relations with these groups have become estranged. The disconnect in relations and understanding has led to disruption and distrust of police personnel world-wide. In order to govern (police) properly, agencies need to invest more time and resources into training within the communities they serve. The concept of cross-cultural awareness, at the local level, is imperative to maintaining the bridge of communication that has been preset by the forefathers of this country. Procedural justice, in the eyes of the community and from within the law enforcement community, is a progressive issue. If taken into consideration, police community relations will prosper, and incidents would certainly decrease.

Diversity, Police Training, Police--Community Relations