Issues in Behavioral Science GLT1
Western Governors University
January 28, 2015
Discrimination is a social problem that effects every race, sex, and religion throughout the world. Discrimination also occurs with some career choices as well. Police officers are often times targeted with being called racist, bias, and according to some they put themselves above the laws they enforce. When a person makes that lifetime decision to become a police officer they enroll in college as many of us do. They attend many classes teaching them about social issues and the laws which may include classes such as constitutional law, crime prevention, and cultural diversity. In addition to those classes they are also taught self-defense, gun instruction, and strategic driving. As with all college graduates we leave school thinking we have a good base and are ready to go out into the world and do the job we have been training for. As with any professionals, there those who learn and excel at the job and then there are the few who think they know it all and often times leave negative impressions. Citizens in some communities get the impression that officers are above the law which results in a negative image for all police officers. What is meant by this is they often times feel that police officers abuse their rights placing them above the law. Some examples of behaviors that encourage these beliefs include hearing and seeing officers who are reckless with their driving, using excessive speed when responding to calls without lights on or misusing their right to speed to get to coffee break. Some officers are seen talking on a cell phone while driving yet they give out citations when the general public is doing the same thing. Some people get upset when they see a squad car parked in a “no parking” zone or if they take up a handicap space, again if the general public were to do this they would get a citation. One final reason why police officers sometimes get a bad rap is that they sometimes treat people with disrespect yet they demand that respect be given to them. While there are a few officers on the force who practice this kind of behavior, we need to refrain from forming the judgment that all officers participate in this performance while on the job. We, as members of the community, also need to be reminded that if we break the law and get caught, we will have to pay the penalty. Some people in the community feel that if officers can get away with poor behaviors then they too should be able to get away with this poor practice. What they need to keep in mind is that they are willfully breaking the law and it is wrong. When they are held accountable for their illegal actions they become upset and develop bias impressions of all police officers resulting in discrimination. When bias citizens in the community criticize and slander police officers other members of the community begin to develop negative impressions.
The media also has an influence on how the general public views issues that arise when legal situations occur. If they publish partial truths or opinionated stories verses the true facts people develop incorrect visions of the details of the incident. These visions can be damning to the reputation of the officers who are trying to uphold the law. The best way to avoid discrimination against the police is to follow the laws despite the way others are acting on them. Treating others with respect is something we learn as children and should continue to do as adults. If we ever are in a situation where we are pulled over or questioned by the police we should treat them with respect. Unfortunately we often times let our own personal bias’s get in the way resulting in poor attitudes and disrespect toward the officers when we are in the spot light.
Effect on the United States The effect discrimination against police officers is evident all across the