Public Perception Of Police Essay

1531 words - 6 pages

Being a police officer is one of the hardest jobs around. They are trained and hired to "protect and serve" their communities and they are constantly in the public eye. Everything that they do is criticized by the people who are watching them. Like in every other profession, there are some who should really not be doing that job, and those people give a bad name to the really good and dedicated officers that work so hard to take care of people.One of the problems that cause the public to have a lower level of good will toward police is the rising crime rate. People believe that if there are more crimes being committed, the police are not doing a proper job of stopping it. This tends to make people doubt the abilities that police have. (Koenig)Some of the negative feedback in regards to policing comes from allegations of alleged cover-ups mostly applied to racial accusations, ethnicity and to some degree, economic class. (Connolly, 2001) These issues are on a daily basis and over all that gives the public a negative view of the police force in general. The media has a big part in the negative viewpoint people have of the police. They tend to focus on the bad things that happen and although police are just human beings and do make mistakes, which is the only thing the media gives attention to so they get their viewers and readers to develop a negative attitude towards law enforcement. (Connolly, 2001) Another issue that is big in the news regarding law enforcement is that police are violent. There have been occasions when police have used violence and in some cases it was unjustified. But those incidents are isolated and do not happen as frequently as the media tends to make people believe. Police will only use force when they are in danger and even then, they give the criminal every possible chance to surrender before force is used. If the media focused more on the positive things that law enforcement does for the public, more people would likely have a more positive viewpoint towards them. (Connolly, 2001)The public seems to be split on the viewpoint of law enforcement. Some are in agreement with a certain amount of force being used while the other half tends to believe that it is dangerous for the police to use any kind of force especially when it is related to racial, ethical or socio-economical issues. (Connolly, 2001) It is believed that media bias started back when there were issues regarding the Vietnam War and Civil Rights struggles. Police are doing the best job they are able to do and it would definitely make their jobs easier if they had more support and backing from the people they are trying to protect. (Connolly, 2001)There are many times that the police have to get control of a person or of people and this can prove to be very difficult physically and also very dangerous to the police and to the person or people they are trying to control. Nobody wants to admit that that is the truth but unfortunately it is. Some people may believe...

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