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The law enforcement profession by its very existence is a profession of ethics and integrity. As Sir Robert Peel (1829) stated, “the ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior, and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect.”
These discussion sessions will clarify to participants the roles citizens play in interacting with law enforcement to maintain safe communities. Participants will take away a set of skills and a valuing of the impact they have.
Sessions will focus on (a) active listening and responding skills needed by the public and the police, (b) the barriers to ongoing communication, including, stereotypes, misinformation, and perceptions, and (c) the responsibilities of the public and police together to accomplish the goals of safe communities.
Learning will take place through imparting of information, role-playing, and open expression of viewpoints, in-session demonstrations, and skill practice. Participants will leave with a better understanding of their roles as citizens and with the basic human interaction skills that will enhance their everyday lives.
Peter J. McDermott is a Distinguished Visiting Professional in the Center for Applied Ethics at Fairfield University. He is a retired captain from the West Harford and Windsor, Connecticut, Police Departments and a retired instructor from the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden, Connecticut. He is a graduate of the 121st session of the FBI National Academy.
Peter’s central goal as a Distinguished Visiting Professional is to improve police training by mandating active listening and responding skills training in police academy curriculum. He maintains law enforcement has an ethical responsibility to provide this training because human interaction skills represent the most significant competency needed by police to create and foster relationships between them and the public they serve.
In 2016, he was one of the lead instructors for a pilot training program in active listening and responding skills for police personnel on the Fairfield University campus, sponsored by the Center for Applied Ethics and the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.
Peter has published op-ed pieces in the Baltimore Sun and the New Haven Register, co-authored articles in the Police, the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, and in the Newsletter of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Currently he is working on a new book focused on the development of basic skills for effective human interactions.
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