Since mid-December, we’ve been taking a look at police community relations in America through a series of webinars. Every Friday a panel of experts talks about a different piece of this complicated puzzle and what can be done to bring both sides closer.

Regardless of the specific topic, several themes have emerged.


Dignity and Respect

The biggest message coming out of the Police-Community Relations webinar series is that we are all human – and thus deserve to be treated with dignity by being shown respect.

Although at times it can be easy to forget, we all share the same needs, hopes and fears associated with being human. Everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or profession wants to be heard, understood and be made to feel important.

For police, this means that the person you’re interacting with has a story to share that could help explain their actions and they want the opportunity to defend their actions.

For citizens, it means that a little respect for officers as individuals is wanted.



The only way an issue is going to get resolved is through communication. And since the vast majority of interactions police have with citizens is verbal only, it is vital that each party learn how to talk to the other.

Proper communication is a two-way street and how you start that interaction will have an impact on where that street leads.

Starting a conversation by using the Universal Greeting will provide others with assurance that there will be an open dialogue. The Universal Greeting consists of:

  1. appropriate greeting
  2. name and affiliation
  3. reason for contact
  4. relevant question



There’s a lot to be learned about how the police can enhance the relationship they have with the community they serve.

Learning to treat everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve is a hugely important step in the process. Once this happens, better communication is allowed to happen.

Click here to view all the past webinars for in-depth answers about how to address the complex interactions that take place between officers and citizens.

For more advice, register to be notified of upcoming Police-Community Relations webinars at



Vistelar Group –