Law enforcement disconnect from the community



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The dialog about enforcing the law varies between administrators, politicians, law enforcement officers, and the community. Each in turn has their own defined language. We performed a qualitative study on how officers reported critical incidents. A convenience sample of Louisiana and Mississippi Police officers was recruited from the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy in Meridian, MS. All participants were rural law enforcement officers (n = 307). Officers answered qualitative open-ended questions about their responses to critical incidents and the Life Events Checklist-5 was administered. Our results indicate that disengaged and disconnected language is used by officers to cope with the stress of critical incidents; the officer’s disengagement creates efficiency and functionality. Unfortunately, the language that police use to protect themselves can create barriers to dialog between officers and others. Thus, public administrators and politicians can bridge the communication disconnect with the community by assuring clear unambiguous two-way transmission of information and that police language is interpreted correctly.


© 2016, © 2016 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license. cc-by


community and police, police dialog, police stress


Gittner, L.. 2016. Law enforcement disconnect from the community. Cogent Social Sciences, 2(1).