In order to work with diverse populations, police professionals must be aware of areas of concern that are specific to the populations they serve. Police professionals also must consider and adopt an appropriate style of interaction for each population. Those who do acquire the necessary skills specific to working with a particular population may find themselves more sensitive to the needs of the population, which may, as a result, improve community relationships. Forensic psychology professionals are instrumental in teaching these interactional skills to police professionals.

An examination of Boro Park, a small community in Brooklyn, New York, illustrates this point (Heilman, 2003). A small group of Hasidic Jews lives in this community. On Saturdays, the Hasidim do not work or drive their cars. Men are not allowed to be touched in any way by women who are not their wives, and all members eat only specially prepared foods. There are other religious laws that the Hasidim adhere to as well. If the police do not respect these values, there can be unrest and law enforcement difficulties. As a result, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has sanctioned a specific group, composed of members of this Jewish community, to handle emergencies in Boro Park. This special group responds to emergency calls and assists the NYPD in addressing certain investigations. Because of police professionals’ understanding and working with this particular group, the relationship between law enforcement and the community is a good one, members of the community cooperate with police professionals, and law enforcement problems have been reduced.

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To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources. Focus on the communication issues police professionals may have with diverse populations.

  • Select a specific diverse population that is of interest to you.
  • Think about the challenges that police professionals could experience when communicating with this selected population.
  • Consider how forensic psychology professionals could assist police professionals with these communication challenges.
  • Think about the impact that forensic psychology professionals could have on the communication effectiveness of police professionals when interacting with diverse populations.

The assignment (1–2 pages):

  • Describe the diverse population you selected for this assignment.
  • Analyze the challenges police professionals experience when communicating with your selected population, and explain how a forensic psychology professional would assist police professionals with these challenges.
  • Evaluate the potential impact of forensic psychology professionals on the effectiveness of police professional communication when interacting with diverse populations.
  • Support your responses with references to the Learning Resources and the research literature.

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