Police-Community Relations

Course Number: CRIMLJUS 4130
Course Name: Police-Community Relations (Online)
Course Description:    Analysis of the interdependence of the police and community in maintaining order and controlling crime; theories of community and the community's role in the development of police systems; tension and conflict in police-community interaction; programs and strategies for improving the quality of police-community relations.
Prerequisites:    CRIMLJUS 2130 with a "C-" or better and junior standing.
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to

  • Identify the multiple communities that interact with a police agency.
  • Identify and distinguish problem areas for police and community relationships.
  • Demonstrate awareness of particularly critical issues for police agencies in dealing with the public.
  • Develop a police-community relations profile of a police agency.
  • Provide a critical overview of various police-community relations strategies.

Unit Descriptions
Course Organization and Assignment Descriptions

Unit 1
Overview
In Unit 1 we will review the American system of justice and determine where the police fit into the system.  We will then study the role of the police in a changing society in terms of perceptions, the police officer's role, conflicts, paradoxes, and the media. Next, we will examine police-community relations as a concept; review the history of community relations; define community relations; and look at the various systems and communities involved with police-community relations.  Finally, we will compare police public relations and police-community relations.  

Unit 2
Overview
In Unit 2 we study the public and the police as external and internal communities.  We will examine the relationships within the police organization--the formal and informal organization, the organizational units, and considerations of dealing with other employees.  Another segment will deal with coping with the human experience of being a cop and how that changes, plus the social and health hazards of the work.  We will complete this unit with a look at the communication process, and how verbal, non-verbal, and symbolic interpersonal communication affects official communication. We will also examine barriers to effective communication.

Unit 3
Overview
In Unit 3 we will examine police discretion, that is, selective and discretionary enforcement, and its role in the criminal justice system.  Next, we will delve into the various models and their application in community policing.  We will also study the massive impact of the media and discern its importance in police-community relations.  Finally, we will examine how police deal with the challenges presented by the special populations of the young, the elderly, and the disabled.

Unit 4
Overview
In Unit 4 we will learn how cultural considerations affect police-community relations.  Next, we will examine forms of dissent and their effects in terms of social conflicts and involvement by the police, courts, and corrections. We will also study conflict management as an alternative strategy to arrest and its use in maintaining an orderly community.  We will review citizen participation in community control.  Finally, we will conclude this unit by studying some challenges that police-community relations will face in the future.

Unit 5
Overview

In this unit we will discuss the importance of communication in maintaining positive police-community relations. Many crisis situations result from a "Failure to Communicate." The message either failed to get through, was misinterpreted, or was biased and emotion interfered. 

Unit 6
Overview

In Unit 6 we will examine police discretion and a fundamental aspect of our system of justice. No other part of the criminal justice system, prosecution, courts, probation, or corrections has a chance unless the individual police officer, largely unsupervised, works the street and actually makes an arrest. This places the very essence of justice into the hands of the officer on the street.  
 
Unit 7
Overview

In this unit we will embark upon an examination of the history of police efforts to engage the community. The importance of the police-community relationship has been clear for decades; however, various police initiatives have undermined the relationship or failed to understand the negative impact upon it.

Unit 8
Overview

In this unit we will explore the role of the media in shaping perceptions of the police. The media has also been instrumental in shaping the perceptions of officers themselves in how they should or should not act as well as the nature of the work. 
Special populations have a unique impact on police work, and that will also be explored. 

Unit 9
Overview

In Unit 9 we will learn how cultural considerations affect police-community relations. Next, we will examine forms of dissent and their effects in terms of social conflicts and involvement by the police, courts, and corrections. We will also study conflict management as an alternative strategy to arrest and its use in maintaining an orderly community. We will review citizen participation in community control. Finally, we will conclude this unit by studying some challenges that police-community relations will face in the future.

Grading Criteria for Activities

Assignment Possible Points
Unit Quizzes (15 @ 20 pts. each) 300 points
Discussion Boards (10 @ 60 pts. each) 600 points
Challenge Projects (4 @ 100 pts. each) 400 points
Research Project 200 points
Total: 1,500 points

Grading Scale
A 1350 - 1500 points
B 1200 - 1349 points
C 1050 - 1199 points
D 900 - 1049 points
F 0 - 899 points

 

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