For the Developing Professional Skills and Abilities unit on Blackboard, I chose to watch 24 Hours in Police Custody. The serious nature of the issues within this programme really highlighted the professionalism required of the police involved.
In relation to the first part of this unit, I found a lot of the words I had associated with professionalism were evident within this police force. In the first instances, the police officers had to be well informed. Before arriving at the house, they had the responsibility to gather information on why they were going to arrest this person, and gather factual background information to give him reasons for his arrest. It is also important they are skilful in their specific job. For example when they are tracking IP address on this programme to find out who has been accessing the child pornography.
The police’s skills were most noticeable when initially interviewing those in custody. It is very clear that they have to use their patience in order to get answers from suspects. Not everyone is willing to tell the truth right away. They also have to be very knowledgeable on different behaviours. It may be clear from the way a person is acting whether they are telling the truth or not. For example, lying can be noticed when people cannot hold eye contact, or use little to none hand gestures when talking.
The police however did not act professional when the man in question takes a break and leaves the interview room with his lawyer. They express their annoyance to the man who is only replying with “no comment”, by slouching right back in their seats and both throwing their arms over their heads – in such way to express defeat. The woman then jokes with the male interviewer about how he is not wearing a t-shirt under his jumper. This is very unprofessional as the interview recording is still rolling, not to mention the fact they could have used these few minutes in a more effective way – such as discussing any suspicious behaviour or their own thoughts on the situation.
Their professional behaviour had a positive effect on the safety of his child. When he is first released, they put into action certain plans; including that he cannot return to stay at his own home, and he is not allowed to see his child unsupervised. By using their professional behaviour to consider the safety of others, they have essentially prevented any further issues that may have arisen.
Their professional behaviour had an initial negative effect on the suspect. By using their developed abilities they were able to find out the sick things he was looking up within his own home. The man, a DOCTOR, would never have expected to have been caught, and as the voiceover on this video says; “someone’s world is about to be turned upside down”. This is only however negative to the suspect as it is not what he wanted – to be caught. But it IS very positive for everyone else; for those around him, and the wider community – especially his patients.
The dress code of our police force is very important. It is an easily recognisable way of identifying the power of those who wear it, which can be helpful if you need help quick in a busy place and do not know who to turn to. It is also stated within the law that a police officer must be in uniform to use certain powers; however they do not have to wear a hat to warrant an arrest which I have always been brought to believe. I think what they wear is important but they should wear what is relevant to the situation they are in. When undercover and trying to obtain information, it is important they are not recognisable as it has been found the well known uniforms cause people to act indifferently. However, when at an event policing it and ensuring it is safe it is extremely important they are identifiable so people know who to go to in order to seek help.
If I was asked to develop a degree to train police, I would use the following training methods:
- Lectures. – I would ensure all prospective police officers attend lectures, similar to us as primary teachers, to learn how to act as professionals as well
as developing their professional views.
- Background reading. – I would incorporate a list into the programme of essential reading for these officers to read. It would be relevant to their career, helping develop their understanding of what is expected of them as well as making them more well-informed of their role.
- Work-based training. – I would send these officers on “work-based training” as part of the degree I’d develop. During this training they would take on the role of the specials – where they shadow fully qualified police officers but do not yet have the same levels of responsibility.
From this activity I have learned that professionalism can be seen in way more aspects of a person’s career (such as the police) than initially thought. In order to be an effective professional, we should develop knowledge on how we should act in all areas of our career, such as when we are not at work but still identifiable – continuing to live up to our professional expectations in our behaviours, attitudes and actions.
I will apply this to my own learning and development by ensuring I live up to my professional expectations ALL of the time. I will continue to participate in further reading in order to widen my knowledge and understandings of teaching. By doing so, I will become a positive role model to those around me, hopefully influencing others to take their professionalism just as seriously.