Term Paper: Police Training as Adult Education Learning

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Police Training as Adult Education (Learning

Linguistic and cultural education of the police force:

Translating culturally aware policing into positive community attitudes in Chicago and London

Culturally sensitive policing in new immigrant communities requires a two-pronged educational approach on the part of the police, states James L. Mazurek and Bruce Malin in their article "Today's policing within the Hispanic community in Chicago," as does the British reporter for the Independent Kate Hilpern in her article "Speaking the language." Both articles state that firstly, the police department must actively recruit bilingual police officers to effectively communicate with alienated immigrant communities in locations where containing crime has been difficult. Recruiting bilingual officers increases the likelihood crime will be reported to officers, and reduces the tolerance of crime in the community overall. Secondly, the police force must act as positive role models and educators to the community. The policy must daily convey the message that the justice system can have a positive impact upon the lives of immigrants.

Examining how the United States has coped with the needs presented by non-English speakers with other nations such as England provides an interesting comparative case study.

Community sensitive policing is an issue in United States policing, but also worldwide. According to James L. Mazurek and Bruce Malin, policing the Hispanic population in West Chicago, 30% of the total neighborhood population according to 1990 census estimates, is difficult. Language barriers have created obstacles for Chicago Hispanics to assimilate into American culture. Because of the language barrier and poverty, Chicago's almost entirely legal, longstanding (most are the children of immigrants of the 1940s wave of migration to the area) Hispanic population remains hostile to the police and reluctant to report crime. Instead, the preferred method of dealing with crime is to rely upon the community rather than larger social institutions such as the police to enforce order (Mazurek & Malin 1991:9). To improve community relations, the Chicago police implemented a cultural outreach and educational program for the police, beginning with cultural orientation of the force in Hispanic culture and circumstances. There was also an outreach campaign using Spanish-speaking officers to the Hispanic community. The police department sent representatives to Hispanic community meetings and cultural affairs centers to create a positive and non-threatening presence in the community, and followed up in later months with what it called a 'walk and talk' program where officers, during their shifts, made friendly contact by visiting Hispanic businesses and their patrons (Mazurek & Malin 1991:12). The Independent's Kate Hilpern in "Speaking your language," reports a similar campaign in Great Britain.

However, in contrast to the Chicago program, which deploys current officers in a more culturally aware manner, by educating the officers and increasing their positive, visible presence in the community, the London police have chosen to focus more on recruitment of new officers. For example, the London police have embarked upon an aggressive campaign to foster better community relations with the Cypriot community by favoring applicants who… [END OF PREVIEW]

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