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NCJ Number: 151368 Find in a Library
Title: Reducing Citizen Complaints
Journal: Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:(October 1993)  Pages:33-36
Author(s): R Bradstreet
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 4
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes five major causes for citizen complaints against the police and suggests some practical approaches for correcting the problems before they become a habit or become worse.
Abstract: One cause of complaints is citizens who blame police officers for their own misbehavior. Useful approaches are to research previous police contact with the accuser, considering filing perjury charges, and teaching verbal judo tactics. The major cause of complaints is a lack of communication skills, particularly a stern face, dominant nonverbal behaviors, lectures or sarcasm, reactions to citizen challenges. Useful approaches are training and partnering verbally skilled police officers with unskilled ones. Another major source of citizen complaints are officers' negative attitudes and strategies for survival. Effective approaches include changing the job, having the police officer take the day off, referring for counseling, and partnering strict officers with flexible officers. A relatively small source of complaints is personality problems such as fear, personal isolation, and narcissism. Strategies should include screening these officers out initially, requiring additional training, and increasing social contacts from supervisors or other partners. The final source of complaints is the creation of self-serving rules and practices. Effective strategies include replacing administrators and training line supervisors on how to be firm without losing the respect of other officers. Basic principles to follow include early intervention, skill building, reinforcement from supervisors and senior officers, and teaching of verbal judo.
Main Term(s): Complaints against police
Index Term(s): Citizen satisfaction; Peer influences on behavior; Police discipline; Police education; Police human relations training; Police misconduct; Police supervision; Police-citizen interactions
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