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NCJ Number: 70812 Find in a Library
Title: Community Psychology Approach to Police Training
Journal: Professional Psychology  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:(November 1976)  Pages:437-444
Author(s): J M Gardner; A Veno
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The backlash effect which accompanies most innovative police training programs is partly the result of the failure of these programs to take a community psychology conceptual view of the police in the context of the social system.
Abstract: A community psychology program was developed for working with senior sergeants of the Queensland Police Department (Australia) with the hope of influencing subordinates of these sergeants. The program viewed the police system and the community as a whole, and concentrated on relationships rather than on individuals. The program focused intervention on alerting members of the system to the changing social environment and brought attention to the functional pressures and forces upon the police in relation to the greater society. Finally, by conceptualizing the nature of hierarchies in systems, the program intervened at a point in the system where there would be maximum impact (i.e. attitudes would flow downwards from the senior sergeant level). The workshops focused on the media and the ability of the officers to make good presentations in a variety of media situations; on a systematic approach to human behavior, beginning with the study of the individual and moving sequentially to the study of the family, the neighborhood, and the city; and on attitude formation and change, with special emphasis on police-community relations with the university, the media, Aborigines, recent migrants, and hospitalized 'mentally ill' people. In all three focus areas results were excellent, pointing to police satisfication, media satisfaction, and community satisfaction. Thus the joint involvement of police, psychologists, and citizens contributed to the success of this innovative program. The Queensland Department is planning another course to continue the program. Twelve references are provided.
Index Term(s): Australia; Police community relations; Police organizational structure
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