Police Psychology | How Policing Can Be Improved with Science
Marcus Clarke is the author of psysci.co a psychology blog that examines the latest research and explains findings in simple terms.
Police forces around the world face increasing pressure, from cuts to funding to new forms of crime, so ensuring policing standards are maintained and crime rates reduced can be difficult. But one resource that police stakeholder’s often underutilize is science.
Police departments have a tendency to resist lessons from science and nobody really knows why, a general cynicism that science can’t provide the answers may be the problem or it may seem like a personal insult that police departments can’t improve things by themselves. But the truth is that science for all its complexities, when broken down to its basic is a simply evidence based trial and error that can be utilized in by an industry, sector or establishment to provide iterative improvements.
Police Psychology | So how can science help with the small policing stuff?
A large part of a police officers job is to de-escalate situations, while this is unarguably a skill that is built up over time and with experience, even the most proficient police officer can say or do the wrong thing in a highly stressed situation. Police officers are almost universally trained how to introduce themselves in different situations but as police dashboard cams have revealed time again that a standardized approach is rarely implemented and that this one factor alone can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of a situation. (more…)