The Life of a New York City Police Officer
New York City has always attracted people of different races, nationalities, cultures, religions, and socio-economic statuses from many parts of the U.S and the world at large. As a result, New York law enforcement personnel must encounter the complexities and challenges of policing in such a diverse society (Eterno 15). Diversity has enriched and complicated the police procedures and the interaction of police officers with the city’s residents. The lack of knowledge and information on cultural differences can be detrimental to the policing task since it can lead to an officer violating a person’s rights or endangering their life (Jackson 52). Therefore, as a police officer in New York City, I recognize that I have a very important role to play in maintaining law and order for the residents of this city.
My role as a police officer is to act as a peace officer and ambassador in terms of respecting the people’s domestic rights and freedoms. Considering that the U.S prides itself on being a highly functioning multicultural democracy, it strives to defend the rights of its citizens regardless of their gender, age, disability status, race, color, religion, or citizenship status (Eterno 46). Therefore, I have to refrain from being prejudiced or acting biased. The United States federal government has put in place different procedures to ensure that the laws that protect citizens are enforced. In addition, minority and ethnic groups are now aware of the roles of police officers. Therefore, as a police officer, I must act right and be vigilant to meet their expectations. Because a diverse society is a challenge to any police officer’s job, including mine, it would not make sense on my part to ignore its significance. Therefore, I have to accept diversity to improve my relationship with the different cultural, racial, and ethnic groups that exist in New York.
Another role that I would play as a New York City police officer is to work with both public and private services in the city to improve New York residents’ quality of life. This role will involve working with community programs to reduce crime or the fear of crime by establishing a safe community for the residents (Jackson 66). I will devote my knowledge and skills to finding solutions to the problems related to crime or social disorder by either prevention or law enforcement in cases where prevention did not work.
Because of the multiplicity and complexity of the people I will serve in New York. I will endeavor to be a good, devoted, and honest police officer in many ways. To begin with, I will strive to mobilize, develop, and nurture the trust of the people I serve (Caless 20). This is ultimately not an easy task, but it is instrumental to the success of policing. I will also engage in activities that bring order and peace to society. For instance, I will work with the residents of New York or contribute to their efforts towards improving the conditions of their neighborhoods, help the residents who are at risk by providing emergency social services, and visit the residents door-to-door to improve my understanding of their perceptions of safety. Such activities help in developing trust between police officers and the communities they serve. They are effective in crime prevention and developing community support measures to control crime (Caless 25). Ultimately, they provide a chance for police officers to cultivate an excellent working relationship with the residents. However, to build this trust with the community in New York, I will have to treat all residents with dignity and respect. Being arrogant, rude, or using unnecessary force reduces the desire of people to relate with the police.
I will also seek to understand the cultural diversity of people who reside in New York. This means I will strive to cultivate cultural competence by increasing my awareness of this diversity, knowledge, and skills (Hara 38). Even though this process may take a long time, the desired outcome can be achieved if principles, policies, structures, and attitudes promote equality among all people. However, as a police officer, I must be aware that the tactics I may use to build rapport with people of my own culture may not work with people from other cultures. Therefore, dealing with members of a diverse community requires particular knowledge and skill, although this does not mean that the officer treats the other group as special. The goal is rather to strengthen communication with all kinds of people (Hara 40).
Integrity or honesty is a virtue I will also strive to possess in relating to and serving the people of New York. In confronting the challenge of cultural diversity in New York, I will seek to be honest and fair to everyone (Eterno 32). For instance, I will examine how a person views the world instead of how the world views this person. This will give me knowledge and understanding of different perspectives from the different people I serve in New York. As a result, I will have a chance to find better solutions to the challenges of diversity that I will encounter in New York.
I will take several steps in the course of duty to reduce crime without violating the rights of individuals. The United States of America’s fourth amendment protects people from unreasonable searches carried out by police officers (Hussein 63). For example, “stop and frisk” practices employed by the police have been known to infringe on the rights of different people. According to Eterno, police sometimes use “patterned descriptions” as a factor to carry out this practice on perceived suspects (12), which may be an indication that a police officer is engaging in racial profiling. Therefore, appropriate steps should be taken to ensure that police officers do not carry out racial profiling. As a police officer in New York, I will educate the residents of New York on how to recognize a legitimate stop, search, and frisk. In addition, I will educate the community on how to relate with police officers if they are stopped for the procedure.
In addition, I will respect the rights of the people of New York City, who are under my protection. This means I will not engage in any activities that infringe on their rights according to the law. For instance, the constitution’s fourth amendment also protects individuals from an unreasonable seizure of their homes or property without a warrant (Hussein 18). As a police officer on duty, I have to let a person know that they are free to disregard being questioned to avoid infringing on their rights in addition to having a search warrant.
The responsibility of a police officer is to safeguard the citizens (Hara 48). However, there are times when police officers engage in misconduct and civil rights violations. These violations on civilians include police beatings, use of unnecessary force, fabricating evidence, racism, or outright meanness (Eterno 22). The police thus turn the very people they are supposed to protect into their victims with such actions. Most of the time, this misconduct on the part of the police is caused by poor training, pressure on the police to get convictions, or bad judgment (Hara 54). To help fight crime without violating the civil rights of people, I will carefully examine my actions, thoughts, and behaviors by weighing them on the standards of professionalism and mutual respect for the diverse people that reside in New York. In addition, I will strive to be free of prejudice when executing my duties.
To improve community relations between the police and the people of New York, I will engage in constant consultation with the community of New York and its associations. I will also strive to engage positively with the community and members from diverse groups by not just making an appearance in the community when something negative has happened. In addition, I will make it an obligation on my part to be accountable to the community and be friendly with minority groups. Taking responsibility for educating the residents on the duties of officers and the standard procedures of operation common in law enforcement is another contribution I will make in improving community relations (Miller 30). Furthermore, I would like to act as a change agent in our police department, especially in promoting better cross-cultural relationships between the community and the police.
Caless, Bryn. Policing at the Top: The Roles, Values and Attitudes of Chief Police Officers. Bristol, UK: Policy, 2011. Print.
Eterno, John. Policing within the Law a Case Study of the New York City Police Department. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2003. Print.
Hara, Patrick. Why Law Enforcement Organizations Fail: Mapping the Organizational Fault Lines in Policing. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic, 2005. Print.
Hussein, Nadia M. A. Legal Interpreting in the Criminal System an Exploratory Study. De Montfort U, 2011. Print.
Jackson, Mary S. Policing in a Diverse Society: Another American Dilemma. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic, 2006. Print.
Miller, Linda S. Community Policing: Partnerships for Problem Solving. S.l.: Delmar, 2013. Print.