Law enforcement’s mission is accomplished primarily through one-on-one interaction with citizens in the community. Simply put, the better we are at dealing with people, the better we are at doing our jobs. Excellent policing is only possible through the development of strong, positive relationships with the public—relationships built on good customer service and mutual respect. Every interaction with the public should be grounded in the core law enforcement values of service, courage, respect, fairness, integrity, responsibility, and professionalism. Treating people with respect and dignity is not just good business – It’s the right thing to do. This online course from The Response Network is grounded in this content.
No professional law enforcement or correctional officer begins their career hoping that it is full of frustration and feelings of wasted and unappreciated effort. We begin our careers intending to serve and make a positive impact in our community and agency. Providing excellent customer service is worthwhile because, more than we sometimes realize, it is recognized, appreciated, and rewarded. Yes, it is easy to become jaded but this is why training is so important and keeping one's perspective of their job at arm's length.
Excellent customer service skills help officers take any call for service that normally would have accomplished nothing, and just frustrated both the officer and the citizen, and turn it into a win-win for both. The officer who consistently uses these tools and techniques will regularly receive praise and avoid complaints. Such officers will enjoy career success and satisfaction that eludes those who do not provide quality service. This is not just happy thinking, it is real!
Some critics of this reasoning may suggest that “I’m not paid to be nice; I’m paid to do my job.” This understanding of the essential performance elements of police work clearly reflects the critic’s point of view, and not the profession’s or community’s expectations.
Excellent customer service makes excellent policing possible. Community trust and support are essential to effective policing. Without the confidence and cooperation of the community, witnesses will not come forward, needed resources are not budgeted, and juries remain skeptical. Customer service is not something you add to good policing, it is good policing. Enjoy this course!