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Criminal Justice Training Job Aid

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The training of police officers are rigid, exhaustive and provides opportunities to demonstrate leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners (The FBI Academy, 2014). Bundled with these trainings include development of effective communication skills that will enable law enforcement officers to build a connection with the public, victims and colleagues. Since the work of police officers entail communicating with people of different background, preconceptions and attitudes, it is necessary that they adjust their communication practices (Barker, 2008). These practices can either be verbal or non-verbal communication. Verbal communication involves the use of spoken words and is a common form of communication, whereas, non-verbal includes not only words by gestures, facial expressions, posture, eye contact and body language.

This research briefly identifies potential training aids that police officers must equip themselves with when dealing with the press, people in court, peers and inmates within a correction facility. Prior to facing the press, any police officers in charge of briefing the media must prepare a brief and concise dialog explaining their knowledge about the topic including important details. Also, it is helpful for these officers to have database knowledge of the press, at a minimum, in order to address them properly during proper announcement. This establishes a good rapport and shows that police officers respect the media and works on their side as well. Representatives from different press entities vary and their behavior also. There will be times that discussion during a press conference gets rowdy and intensifies. Police Officers should handle this calmly and address each concern without any sign of an effect to the questions of the press.

All throughout the time, officers must maintain eye contact with their audience as this exudes authority and persuasion as necessary. Always use respectable words in order to prevent from sending the wrong messages to the press. There is a huge chance of misunderstanding once police officers use inappropriate words. Before going to the court, police officers must refresh their memory. He should try to reiterate the scene again on his mind, including the object and other individuals, the distances and exactly what happened. This will assist the officer to recall the facts more accurately when asked a question. Police Officers are professional witnesses. As a professional witness, officers must speak with clarity, disposition and believability. Once an officer takes the stand, all eyes in the room are focus on him.

As early as taking of the oath, an officer must display a character of trustworthiness and all the time he must look into the eyes of the person administering the oath Police officers treat testifying in court stressful and find the cross-examination argumentative where district attorneys grill them with accusing questions. Being a representative or witness of certain event, police officers must communicate clearly and accurately all the facts of the story. Law enforcement officers must convey detailed evidences, and complete story with clarity and that their delivery of those facts should ensure the credibility (Miller, 2006). When interrogated, officers must listen to the questions carefully. Police officers must answer questions directly and should not volunteer any other information. Juries want to hear facts that you personally observed and knew.

It is also vital that while you address the questions, officers must maintain eye contact as this conveys sincerity and honesty. It is equally important that the representing police officers dress neatly and accordingly when testifying in court. The law enforcement officers should wear their uniform the same way they wear it when being promoted. This emanates professionalism and authority about the event. An appearance that is casual may distract the juries, and the juries may not pay attention to your testimony. All throughout the time maintain composure and remain courteous to every individual in the court as this influences how the juries perceive one’s character. An angry witness may appear to be unreliable and emotionally unstable; thus, his confessions are questionable.

In the end, never talk about what you know about the case with other people other than the prosecutor, other police officers who are part of the investigation and members of your family. According to research, both verbal and non-verbal communication will be effective when dealing with peers and inmates within a correction facility. An effective officer should know when an inmate is happy, upset or angry so that he or she can attend to his needs. A research identifies that some Correctional Departments employ four (4) main categories of communication within a correctional facility (Avila, 2011). This includes (i) no communication, (ii) operational communication, (iii) human-respectful communication and (iv) cognitive, reflective communication. No communication means officers and the offenders are apart, and no interaction must happen.

Operational communication means isolation between officers and offenders, however, there is a certain level of communication in order to finish a needed job. Human-Respectful Communication means continuous talking with an inmate and establishing social communication is one of the objectives. Cognitive, reflective communication means talking to a person intimately in order to encourage the inmate to think of changing their behavior, thought process and acceptance of the consequences of their actions. Moreover, inmates will challenge your capability as an officer. In order to control an aggressive individual, police officers must never fight when the individuals want to fight, never fight where the individuals wants to fight and never fight how the individual wants to fight (Officer Survival Mindset and Survival Techniques, 2009).

It is very important to establish trust in order to build a positive relationship. One cannot build trust overnight; however can begin with a respectful communication. Inmates within a juvenile correctional facility already distrust men in uniform and can find police officers threatening. When dealing with inmates, police officers must not use offensive words simply to get information that they need during interrogation. Use simple and direct words when dealing with kids below eighteen years old. Also, it is important that police officers understand how juveniles behave, whether in childhood, adolescence or adulthood.

In this way, police officers can demonstrate appropriate gestures and languages when addressing them. During discussions, officers must listen without interrupting. Some aggressive youth tends to speak out their thoughts and beliefs excessively. By showing emphatic listening, these youths will feel that you are on their side and ready to help them (Barnhart, 2009). Furthermore, this will make them feel that they are important and loved.


Officer Survival Mindset and Surival Techniques. (2009, July). Retrieved from Understanding Communications in Corrections: http://www.corrections.com/tracy_barnhart/?p=312 Avila, B. (2011, December). Corrections.com: Where Criminal Justice Never Sleeps. Retrieved from Communication in Today’s Corrections: Part I: http://www.corrections.com/news/article/29062-communication-in-today-s-corrections-part-i Barker, V. e. (2008, June). Communication Currents: Knowledge for Communicating Well. Retrieved from Police Communication: Why Does it Matter?: http://www.natcom.org/CommCurrentsArticle.aspx?id=886 Barnhart, T. (2009, May). Corrections.com: Where Criminal Justice Never Sleeps. Retrieved from The Criminal Youth Inmate Subculture: http://www.corrections.com/articles/21533-the-criminal-youth-inmate-subculture Miller, L. P. (2006). The Free Library. Retrieved from On the spot: testifying in court for law enforcement officers: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/On+the+spot%3A+testifying+in+court+for+law+enforcement+officers.-a0161249510 The FBI Academy. (2014). The FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved from Law Enforcement Training: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/training/law-enforcement-training

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