Sample Review Paper on Criminal Justice

When hiring officers, police agencies must identify the qualities and skills they desire in candidates. Identify five qualities or skills that a police officer candidate should demonstrate. Why is each important to a police agency and the community it serves?

The working conditions of a police officer vary depending on different situations and thus when hiring officers, police agencies must identify those with qualities and skills that are desirable. The officer must deal with different situations in a way they feel is best but sometimes officers cannot deal with some situations on their own and therefore they need to consult others(Ortmeier and Davis). A police candidate should demonstrate several qualities which may include; Good communication, Motivation, leadership, supervision skills, crisis management, personnel development among others

Communication skills, a suitable candidate should be a good communicator because Police officers in their line of duty listen, understand the issues from citizens’ perspective, and reassure citizens that action will be taken (Ortmeier and Davis 274). Good communication skills are important because they help police officers to forge a connection with community members.

Motivation skills, motivation skills are crucial for all officers seeking to strengthen their leadership skills. Police officers must understand what motivates colleagues and other citizens to do certain things (Ortmeier and Davis 275)  Motivation skills help police officers to embrace the notion that people are motivated by different needs, whether for social connection, achievement, monetary reward, or some other form of value which is important to them.

Supervision skills, the work of police officers requires supervision skills because the officers are tasked with supervising the general public to ensure that everybody adheres to the law (Ortmeier and Davis 276). Supervision skills are essential to police officers because they help them in resolving complex situations in the community.

Crisis management, suitable candidates for police officers should be good crisis managers because Police officers make swift decisions on certain issues and intervene in conflicts between peers, subordinates, or citizens (Ortmeier and Davis 238). This skill is crucial because it will help the candidates to be able to handle issues and crises that are common in the community.

Physical fitness, a suitable candidate for the position of a police officer should be physically fit in order for him/her to be able to deal with diverse issues that arise in the line of duty. The law allows law enforcement officers to use reasonable force when apprehending offenders who may resist arrest and thus Physical fitness is crucial because it helps officers to be able to handle all types of people who may resist to corporate (Ortmeier and Davis 277).


What are some examples of formal and informal communication channels in a police agency?

Communication in a police agency is comprised of formal, as well as informal, communications channels. Formal channels of communication in any police agency are normally vertical and represent protocols and regulations which have been put up by the agency, for instance, all-hands meetings called by the chief of police, performance evaluations conducted by a supervisor for a subordinate, or complaints filed by an officer with the agency’s ombudsperson Ortmeier and Davis 213).

On the other hand, informal communication channels in police agencies tend to be horizontal, for instance, hallway chats or e-mail exchanges between fellow officers or members of a task force. Informal communication is more common between officers of equal rank or position, but it can also take place between new recruits and veterans or mentor officers in any police agency (Ortmeier and Davis 214).


Name three barriers to effective communication and what steps would you take to overcome each of the barriers you selected?

Misunderstandings as a result of barriers to effective communication interfere with the lines of communication utilized in many agencies. Barriers to effective communication take the form of mind-sets or cultural mindsets or cultural orientations that stand between a communication receiver and giver Ortmeier and Davis 216). The barriers to effective communication include poor communication skills, background differences, credible sources, complex communication channels, unfamiliar language, denial, lack of motivation among many others.

Unfamiliar language is the first barrier to effective communication because the unfamiliar language makes the receiver unable to internalize the message. The language a sender uses to convey a message may affect understanding, eg jargons are specific to a profession thus making it hard for a receiver who is unfamiliar with the language to misunderstand (Miller, Linda Kären Hess, and Othman 155). For instance, the work of the law enforcement officers is characterized by extensive use of jargon because officers are taught by academy trainers, field training officers, or supervisors to speak and write in a legalistic, investigative, and precise way. This problem can be eliminated when people within an organization use a language that is understood by everybody who has a stake in that organization.

Complex Communication Channels, when senders use complex channels to communicate than their message can become distorted. The best way police personnel can overcome complex communication channels is to be as clear and specific as possible in their communication and to ask receivers to confirm their understanding of the message that has been conveyed(Ortmeier and Davis 217)..

Culture of the organization, some organizations have characteristics that constitute barriers to good communication. For instance, people may have difficulty in communicating in an organization where distractions and disruptions occur throughout the workday. The culture at a law enforcement agency can discourage open communication if the agency takes a command-and-control approach to police (Ortmeier and Davis 219). This can be eliminated when distractions to effective communication in any organization are minimized. Altering the culture that brings distractions and disruptions in any organization requires establishing new rules, sharing of opinions and ideas as well as opening lines of communication in that particular agency.

# 9

How does authority differ from power? Where do leaders derive their authority and power? Does a leader need both of these tools to be effective?

The difference between power and authority lies with legitimacy whereby authority comes by virtue of holding a position whereas power is a characteristic of an individual and is independent of position (Mirza 132). Power gives rise to authority if the body exerting is recognized and accepted and thus Power without authority can result in tension. Authority gives leaders the right to enforce the laws of an organization and to take decisive action with respect to a variety of public safety activities. A person may exercise power yet has no authority, for instance, an armed robber exercises power over a victim but does not have authority to do so.

Leaders derive their authority and power from the laws, for instance, power derives from a person’s rank in an agency; for example, senior police officers have power and authority to discipline their juniors. A leader needs to have both power and authority for the effective execution of duties. Leaders can only direct to shape an organization’s direction and priorities, influence situations and activities or persons if they have both power and authority (Ortmeier and Davis 278).


Works cited

Miller, Linda S, Kären M. Hess, and Christine M. H. Othman. Community Policing: Partnerships for Problem Solving. Clifton Park, N.Y: Delmar, 2013. Print.

Ortmeier, P J, and Joseph J. Davis. Police Administration: A Leadership Approach. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.

Saiyadain, Mirza S. Organizational Behavior. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill, 2003. Print.