Professional policing entails the commitment to increase accountability regarding the conduct and effectiveness of a group of people working and dealing with a particular discipline, for instance, the police (Stone and Travis 1). The teams need to do professional policing to increase the legitimacy in the eyes of the people they serve. The idea implies that citizens need to have confidence with the people who serve them and they must have increased satisfaction. When the departments such as the police force meet such requirements, the antagonism between them and the members of the public reduces, and thus they develop a cordial relationship that makes law enforcement easy. Innovation in the service delivery is also desirable to increase the quality and speed of the services delivered to the people. This essay seeks to examine the key issues in professional policing, and these include legitimacy, accountability, innovation and national coherence.
Accountability implies that given professional bodies such as law enforcement agencies accept an obligation to account for their actions not only to their seniors or the oversight authorities, but also to the civilian through their representation. For instance, non-governmental organizations within a civil society may launch complaint over an action on behalf of the masses and therefore they may sue an individual or the whole body. The other stakeholders that may question the practice of the police force are journalists, residents associations, community-based organizations, business groups, or even an individual at the personal level (Stone and Travis 2). The above information, therefore, means that in the course of executing their professional duties, the officers should take into account that there may arise the need for them to explain their behavior and actions or the manner in which they performed their duties. For instance, the police must treat those who they approach with respect and decency according to the code of ethics, governing their conduct, or else they may face possible reprimand, rebellion or prosecution (Hough 9). The above information, therefore, implies that in the process of executing their law enforcement duties, the officers should be mindful of whatever they do must lead to greater good and they must always be prepared to justify their actions.
Legitimacy implies that the professional organizations such as the police agencies must ensure that they execute their mandate with the consent, support, and the cooperation of the people who they serve (Stone and Travis 3). The mandate means that there are specific roles that the law and the public assign them and thus they must stick to these duties only. For instance, the police authority is ensured by the law and the state as well as by members of the public, and thus their duties must serve the interests of the masses. In the process of their work, the officers must consider how the groups were previously offended by their actions, and they must seek to establish acceptance as well as a good relationship with the people who complain about them. This means that to the individuals who have suffered injustices in the past, the police must repair their reputation and reconcile themselves with these people. In the United States of America, the Black population complains about the police for alleged harassment such as illegal searches, arrests and detention, assaults or even shootings (Stone and Travis 3). In response to such an issue, the law enforcement officers must seek to establish a good relationship with this group and ensure that they work within the provisions of the law.
The police force must find legitimacy through greater involvement of all members of the public and accept that they can offer them significant assistance in maintaining law and order. By adopting community-based policing, the people develop a sense of ownership and thus they voluntarily cooperate with the police as they are sure that the initiative is for their benefit (Stone and Travis 3). The engagement also minimizes confrontations between the police and civilians as the members of the public follow the law voluntarily, and they also seek to unite against crime in their neighborhoods. By embracing community policing, the police works in a way that portrays them in a positive light to the people. The idea implies that the members of the public will talk positively about the police force based on the personal or second-hand experience. The police must also learn to negotiate instead of demanding for respect from the public to avoid antagonism. The officers must prevent the use of discretion and instead follow the provisions of the law to make people know that they are serving their interests by enforcing the law. Regarding the above information, the police must seek legitimacy through establishing a good relationship with the masses.
The police departments, embracing the idea of new professionalism, need to participate in national conversations about the professional policing. They must train their officers at all levels on the theories and practices that can apply to all jurisdictions across the country (Stone and Travis 3). For instance, the police should have the ability to efficiently execute their duties at the city, county and state levels. All the departments, serving one purpose in the country, must have a set of common skills, protocols and ideologies governed by a code of conduct and this should apply to all parts and regions of the country. The idea, however, does not trivialize the application of local knowledge but implies that, beyond the local knowledge, there is also the general knowledge that is universal and applies everywhere (Stone and Travis 3). The idea here is that the conduct and the mandate of the police must be uniform in the whole state or country so as to promote public acceptance.
Change implies the investment of personnel and resources in the adoption of practices and policies whose efficacy is proven in other departments. The unit can also experiment with new ideas in collaboration with the local partners. There must be the use of empirical evidence as it is necessary to prove that the strategy worked in another department before implementing it (Stone and Travis 3). The idea here implies that the leaders of the police units must do research and embrace collaboration amongst them so that they can exchange information and borrow best practices from each other.
In conclusion, professional policing implies acting in ways that increase the accountability of a professional body in the eyes of the public. The policing entails responsibility that means justifying of actions in the view of the public or their representatives. There is also the idea of legitimacy that means that the people have to accept and own the professional body and this calls for proper public relations. National coherence implies the uniformity of the course of a particular action in a state or a country, and this means that the police officers must follow the law instead of act in their discretion. Innovation means that the police agencies must research and embrace new practices and this must follow the experimentation of the same as well as proving their efficacy in other departments. Regarding the above information, the police must dispose of their traditional working methods and embrace modern ones such as the use of technology and public involvement.