When you think about your idea of a police officer, do you picture people from all backgrounds and ethnicities?
Diversity within any job placement can be incredibly beneficial. The more skills, perspectives, and insights you can apply to the job at task, the more you will create a well-rounded and successful environment. Police departments usually offer diversity training, which allows an officer to see additional perspectives and what makes an individual tick, which can be crucial in the line of duty. Operating through difficult and sometimes strenuous scenarios, this added viewpoint can allow the officer a chance to see where an individual may be coming from and the best measures to approach the matter at hand. The additional trust built by an officer can maximize this effort and seeing officers who look like citizens with a wide range of experiences, ethnicities, religious backgrounds, and more means citizens will see officers as themselves. Not only does the public perception of police officers’ matter most, but it’s important that the public genuinely trust officers to find solutions to problems and incidents.
Having a diverse police force is one way of moving forward and reducing tensions within communities. Adding to the diversity of a police department, hiring officers who know and understand the community, asking officers to build better relationships with neighborhoods they serve, and increasing officer training, will help reduce the gap between law enforcement and the diverse communities they serve.