Police Public Relations Essays


Police play an essential role in maintaining peace in society. Yet police officers face multiple job related challenges. Although police officers strive to maintain an ethical, just image, multiple factors may infringe on how the community perceives police officers. The relationship between police officers and the community is complicated. The United States Department of Justice (2010) further concurs in arguing that the community’s relationship with police officers is influenced by multiple variables. The role of the media, crime within the community, national accusations of police misconduct, the history of policing in the community and the actions taken by the police department to promote a positive image are all factors that can positively or adversely affect how the community perceives police officers (Baker & Hyde, 2011; Wooden & Rogers, 2014).

Furthermore, the time, police departments take to establish and maintain positive community relations is another attribute that affects the relationship between police officers and the community (United States Department of Justice, 2010). The role of the community’s relationship with police officers will be explored in order to determine what factors positively influence or hinder the relationship between police officers and the community.

The Importance of Police/Community Relations

The importance of police departments maintaining a positive relationship with the community has been well established (Jones & Supinksi, 2010). According to the United States Department of Justice (2010) a positive relationship between the police and the community they serve is an essential element in solving problems within the community. Wooden & Rogers (2014) further concur in arguing “community policing, ‘seeks to form partnerships with the community to identify and arrest offenders, prevent crime and disorders, recognize and solve problems, and foster and maintain mutual respect and trust’” (p. 186). Police officers that work in conjunction with the community and respect residents often find that people are inclined to report information that could lead to an arrest in a case (Baker & Hyde, 2011).

In contrast, communities that have strained relationships with police officers may be more likely to withhold information, due to the lack of trust ascribed to police officers (Weitzer, Tuch & Skogan, 2008). Yet, communities that fail to provide information to police often have more unsolved crimes. As a result, these communities are often perceived as less safe than communities that have a positive relationship with police officers.

The Role of the Media in Influencing the Police’s Relationship With the Community

The media plays a vital role in influencing how communities perceive police officers. The United States Department of Justice (2010) expands on the role of the media in influencing the community’s relationship with police officers in stating, “everyday, tens of thousands of law enforcement personnel throughout the United States perform honorable and conscientious police work, but irreparable damage may be done to the entire profession from even one story of police misconduct” (p. 5). Chermak, McGarrell & Gruenewald (2006) further sought to explore how reading or watching a story in the news affect the community’s perception of police officers. The results determined that the more exposure the story had the more likely people were to have seen it multiple times. In relating this to the results, the researchers concluded that the more frequently community members saw the news story, the more likely they were to believe that the police officer had abused his powers.

The results of this study are problematic, as police departments work hard to establish positive relationships with the community. However, this research demonstrates that a high profile story can easily strain a police department’s relationship with the community. The Role of Race, Socio-Economic Status & Affects on Community/Police Relations The roles of race, socio-economic status, and education have all been shown to influence how the individual and community perceive police officers. Dowler (2002) found that communities with higher rates of crime and violence are more likely to believe police officers are not doing their job effectively.

However, areas with a higher socio-economic class are less likely to have a high proportion of violent crime. The differences in crime ascribed to each region based on the community’s socio-economic status directly influences whether or not the community will perceive the police positively and form a relationship with police officers. Race is another variable that directly affects the police’s relationship with the community. Previous research has established that African Americans are more likely than other minorities to report a higher distrust in police officers (Dowler, 2002). However, other research has shown that Muslims are also likely to have unfavorable opinions of police officers. Jones & Supinski (2010) further argues that the measures taken after September 11th directly affected how Muslims perceive police officers.

However, the role of victimization and perceived victimization may further influence why African Americans and Muslims have less favorable perceptions of police officers. Historically, African Americans are more likely to have been discriminated (Weitzer, Tuch & Skogan, 2008). As a result of this discrimination, African Americans may be more apprehensive about forming relationships with police officers. Similar to African Americans, Jones & Supinski argue that societal perceptions of Muslims changed after September 11th. As a result of this change, Muslims are equally likely to be victimized by members of society and more likely to be perceived as terrorists. Yet, it could further be argued that the stereotypes ascribed to Muslims after September 11th caused this group to be more apprehensive about forming relationships with non-Muslim communities, including police officers.

The Role of the Department in Strengthening Community Relations With Police Officers

Police Departments that value community relationships often strive hard to ensure no official misconduct occurs within the department (United States Department of Justice, 2010). Even with this hard work, in some cases, allegations may arise pertaining to police misconduct that impair the community’s relationship with police officers. The credibility of these allegations may influence how the community perceives police officers. Despite this prospect, it is critical that police chiefs take the time to repair the damage done to the relationship between police officers and the community with allegations or occurrences of official misconduct occurs. In reestablishing the trust the community ascribes to police officers, the United States Department of Justice recommends police chiefs be “transparent (i.e. clear, concise, and open about their department’s internal affairs process) with their constituencies, acknowledge misconduct, appropriately deal with misconduct and include the public in the response will not only obtain but also sustain respect and confidence” of individuals in their community (p. 13).


The relationship police officers have with the community is an important attribute in effective policing. Communities that enjoy a positive relationship with police officers have been shown to have lower levels of crime and are more likely to cooperate with police investigations when a crime occurs. However, multiple factors influence the relationship a community has with police officers. The media and allegations of police misconduct have been shown to adversely affect how the community perceives police officers. The role of crime within the community and socio-economic status were also shown to play a critical role in determining the relationship police officers have with the community. Yet, the way the police department handles allegations or occurrences of police misconduct have a significant impact on the relationship the community has with police officers. As a whole, the relationship the community has with police officers is a complex dynamic, influencing by multiple variables.

Baker D., Hyde M. (2011) Police have customers too. Police, Practices and Research 12 (2) 148-162. Building Trust Between the Police & The Citizens They Serve (2010) United States Department of Justice. Retrieved November 30, 2014 from: http://nccpsafety.org/assets/files/library/Building_Trust_Between_Police__Citizens.pdf Chermak S., McGarrell E., Gruenewald J. (2006) Media coverage of police misconduct and attitudes toward police. Journal of Policing 29 (2) 261-282. Dowler K. (2002) Media Influence on Citizen Attitudes Toward Police Effectiveness. Policing & Society 12 (3) 227-239. Jones C., Supinski S.B. (2010) Policing and Community Relations in the Homeland

The Career Of A Public Relations Officer

The Career of a Public Relations Officer

Marketing has always been an interest of mine. Whether I'm the one buying, or the one selling, I have always found the process fascinating. My interest could be detected all the way back to the opening day of my lemonade stand in the first grade. With this it mind, it goes without saying that the career path of my choice has always been in the marketing department. After doing some research, I found that the job of a Public Relations (PR) officer would be most suitable for me.

Combining the social elements of this job with the marketing concepts makes this job perfectly ideal for someone who is as socially-inclined as I am. The role of a PR is to create a good image for the company they are representing. In order to do this they must know what their consumers are like, so once they begin advertising they will know who they are targeting. The officers are also in charge of arranging events such as fund raisers, or trade shows, so that the public and certain people can meet the company. To get the company maximum exposure, they attend important events, radio shows, and make as many public appearances as possible. Above all other tasks, PR officers have simply one goal: To put a face to the company they are representing.

To succeed in this career, you have to know how to develop relationships with important people by having a high level of social contact. That way, should you need their assistance in advertising, they...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

The definition of Public Relations Essay

753 words - 3 pages The field of Public Relations is comprised of many different functions. In the following essay, I will envelop the definition of Public Relations based on my own interpretation of the assigned reading, as well as other outside resources. I will compare and contrast published definitions of what public relations is and attempt to explain the definition of Public Relations. Clinton (2004) defines public relations as a term used to encompass the...

A Career as a Police Officer

1198 words - 5 pages It would be fulfilling to be a police officer because police officers help people in the community and keep it safe. They also enforce the law. They are the reason why people can live their lives in peace. If there is anyone in the community that citizens can trust it would be the police officers. Police officers have to accomplish many things in their workday. (Career Cruising.com) They have to write detailed reports and fill out...

The Significance of Ethics In Public Relations

1416 words - 6 pages Strategy is a concept that relies on various definitions to capture interrelationships between various components that make up a strategy. Henry Mintzberg (1987) outlines five definitions of strategy including strategy as a plan, pattern, position, perspective, and ploy. As a plan, strategy is concerned with setting up guidelines to establish direction for an organization. As a pattern, strategy consists of various actions carried out with...

Why I Choose Becoming A Police Officer As A Career

1639 words - 7 pages What should we do in life? That always seems to be the question. Life is not guaranteed to be easy, never turning out the exact way that we want it to. A lot of people work hard to achieve their dreams of making a massive amount of money and having more than a seven percent return on their 401k plan. Truth is, life is not about the amount of money that we have saved up, it is about what we do to make a difference and how we will make our lifetime...

Definition of Public Relations

887 words - 4 pages The words Public Relations, conjures up some different feelings and conjectures, thus giving light to different meanings. I felt it best then, to just go to the dictionary and ask it. Per Webster’s online meaning: Public Relations is: the business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm, or...

Functions of Public Relations

960 words - 4 pages Public relations can be looked at as building public relationships between a company and the general public. Public relations involves the evaluation of public attitudes and opinions, formulation and performance of an organization's procedures and policy regarding communication with the public, coordination of communication programs, developing relationships through a two way communication process and developing a positive relationship between...

Functions of Public Relations

682 words - 3 pages In today's business environment Public Relations is considered by some to be a complex profession and practiced by hundreds of thousands of professionals around the globe. Some organizations employ their own public relations professionals. Others hire public relation firms. Public relations professionals work in a wide variety of organizations including small,...

Functions of Public Relations

874 words - 3 pages In today environment there are many facets in the Public Relations field, which is often referred to as a complex profession. Although complex, there are thousands of men and women practicing in this field throughout the world. There are numerous diverse activities that fall under the public relations umbrella that can often be classified as organizational or...

Functions of Public Relations - 1099 words

1099 words - 4 pages IntroductionAccording to the Community Cultural Development Center Publics can be defined as "A group of people who share common interests or concerns" (Community Cultural Development [CCD], 2006). The investigation for meaning of the term public led to a plethora of descriptions all relative to the defining agency. "In public relations, more specifically, a public is a group of people with a stake in an issue, organization, or idea"...

Functions of Public Relations - 976 words

976 words - 4 pages Functions of Public PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 5 Running head: FUNCTIONS OF PUBLIC RELATIONSFunctions of Public RelationsTiffany Nicole JacksonUniversity of PhoenixPublic RelationsMKT/438John KautenbergerAugust 23, 2007Functions of Public...

Functions of Public Relations - 955 words

955 words - 4 pages The functions of Public Relations (PR) can be grouped into two loose categories: organizational and societal. Many viewpoints of the functions fall into both categories and are not mutually limited. The scope of organizational functions of PR involves actions concerning the company, and societal functions of PR interests' activities regarding society. Organizational functions of PR are activities that interact with or affect organizations...

One thought on “Police Public Relations Essays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *