What Happens When Israeli Researchers Train U.S. Cops on Respectful Communication

Israeli researchers put American cops through an intensive course of respectful communication, then examined the effects in the field. Not only did the number of arrests plummet – so did crime

Itay Mashiach
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Itay Mashiach

At a time of budget cuts in the Israel Police, training police officers in the use of respectful communication skills might sound somewhat utopian. However, a new study demonstrates its importance, and not only for the image of the police. Researchers, led by Prof. David Weisburd, a Hebrew University of Jerusalem criminologist, conducted an intensive course for police officers in three cities in the United States (Houston, Tucson, and Cambridge, Massachusetts) based on a model known as “procedural justice.” Addressing the encounter between police and the citizenry, this concept focuses on making the interaction between them fair and dignified: Has the citizen been given the opportunity to voice his or her side, do the police show respect and project neutrality?

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