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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221455 Find in a Library
Title: Managing the Message
Journal: The Police Chief  Volume:74  Issue:12  Dated:December 2007  Pages:62-64
Author(s): Lynn Hightower
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 3
Document: HTML
Type: Technical Assistance
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains how law enforcement agencies can manage their messages to the community in order to reflect the qualities citizens want in their government leaders: empathy and caring, competence and expertise, honesty and openness, and commitment and dedication.
Abstract: Police messages to the community should begin and end with expressions of empathy and concern for citizens adversely affected by a particular problem or crime with which the police are dealing. Showing concern for the people under their care is at the heart of the law enforcement mission. Citizens not only want to know that police care about their concerns but also that the police have the competence and expertise to address the problems that threaten their safety and quality of life. Police messages to the community should be as specific as possible about what they are doing to address a specific problem, without compromising the effectiveness of a particular investigation. Police must also be honest and open about any mistakes and insufficiency of resources that may be hampering their efforts. The public wants to know that the police can be critical of themselves and be able to correct any weaknesses in the agency. Police messages must also be managed so as to indicate convincingly that police are dedicated to addressing the problems and concerns that have top priority for the community. Dissatisfaction and frustration with police will prevail in a community when residents do not believe the police are committed to addressing the problems about which the community is most concerned.
Main Term(s): Police-media relations
Index Term(s): Communication techniques; Effective communications training; Media coverage; Media support; Police attitudes; Public information; Visual communications; Voice communications
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