Preparing for a Career in Public Safety
Three key issues within the criminal justice profession which include: gun control, hate crimes, and drug trafficking. I will address the needs of various populations served in the profession. I will also identify and discuss any multiculturalism and diversity concerns. I will explain if the members of society are aware of the pertinent duties and responsibilities associated with the profession, as well as any perceptions about the profession. And I will give examples on how to remove negative stereotypes associated with the criminal justice profession. To better understand the effect the criminal justice system has on society, it is vital that the communities understand how all of this works together to help create a better system.
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Multiculturalism is defined as, “the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society, as a state or a nation” (Dictionary, 2017). What does this have to do with the profession? Most people have come from different backgrounds, have different religions, ideologies, and are most likely have different criminal justice systems. Many people get nervous, or uncomfortable with dealing situations where they might not be good at. The are many ways a police officer can be successful dealing with these instances. Once graduation the police academy, one could go further with their education. They could study different religions, or ethnic groups they might encounter. They could might pick up another language and be bilingual to help understand another person of a different background. These examples could help a police officer, or anyone else in the profession to understand and help another person in need.
Understanding diversity concerns is close to multiculturism. They could maybe go into different communities and personally help volunteer, to understand and help make the community feel more welcome. In uniform, instead of feeling like they are above people, police officers could be more welcoming, and listen to what the person says, repeat what they heard and be calmer about the situation, this would help the community see and understand the officer more.
In the recent years, members of society have become more aware of the duties and responsibilities within the criminal justice system. As we grow as a country, so does our diversity and multiculturalism. It is the law to make sure everyone is treated fairly, and with the same respect as anyone else in the community. It’s import to follow the code of conduct, and the state and government standards in any situation given to an officer. It does not matter if the person was a suspect for a murder, or if he sped through a stop sign, it is the professional’s job to assist the situation with a clear and unbiased view. Regardless of what crime is being committed it is still law enforcements job to look at each situation with a clean slate. Most members of the community understand what is right, and what is not, and will hold the officials accountable as well. If the standards are not met on all accounts, the media see this and then associates negative stereotypes towards the situation at hand.
Is it ok to assume if one police officer makes a mistake does it mean they all make the same one? No. It is not fair if the professionals to judge a whole ethnic group, based from one or two people. Once a community hears about one unjust stereotype, they start to assume the whole profession is the same. Most people use past experiences and memories towards stereotypes. Negative emotions are extremely powerful, creating nearly indelible memories. (Wasilewski, 2016) For example, most kids grow up thinking police officers are there to help them and little old ladies cross the cross walk. Once the child grows up, maybe he or she does something wrong in front of a group of people. If they are arrested and are the only person from another background, they might assume they are being stereotyped against.
Being in the microscope of the people might not all be bad. By volunteering and showing yourself at different community events, or shelters can also remove negative stereotypes. While being under fire from the media, you could help the community by setting up a charity for the homeless, or help out with a AA group event. These examples can effect and help eliminate some negative stereotypes associated with the criminal justice profession.
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One big issue the government is always fighting is about gun violence. Some people are for stricter gun control laws. Others don’t see it that way. They see it as a tool. Many people say that, “Guns not kill people. People kill people.” Therefore, it is important to always come prepared. If a murderer kills a person with a gun, doesn’t mean every gun owner will do the same. Dr. Johnson says, “The suggestion is essentially that the real cause of why we have more gun violence in America (compared to other developed nations) is because of the moral degradation of our society; people in America are more immoral and more prone to violence, and this is why we have more gun related violence—not the prevalence of guns.” (Johnson, 2018) If we can promote more gun safety and safer control over the weapons, this will decrease the negative stereotypes in the profession.
In conclusion, each part of the profession ties each other together. The duties and responsibilities are important in the criminal justice field, regardless of ethnic or any diverse backgrounds. As professionals trying to decrease the percentage of most crimes, we will need to rely on each other law enforcement as well as citizens work together.
- Multiculturalism. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/multiculturalism.
- Olsen, Althea & Wasilweski. (March 23rd, 2016). More Than a Cop. Why memories matter for the well-being of police officers. Retrieved from https://www.policeone.com/health-fitness/articles/165021006-Why-memories-matter- for-the-well-being-of-police-officers/.
- Johnson, David K. 2018. “Gun Violence: Is It a People Problem?” Psychology Today. Retrieved January 27, 2019 (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/logical-take/201803/gun-violence-is-it-people-problem).
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