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Actively Caring for People Policing: Building Positive Police/Citizen Relations


by E. Scott Geller and Bobby Kipper
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Throughout the years experts have struggled to define the term “police culture.” For most this label means a reactive approach to keeping people safe by using punitive consequences to punish or detain the perpetrators. The result: More attention is given to the negative reactive side of policing than a positive proactive approach to preventing crime by cultivating an interdependent culture of residents looking out for the safety, health, and well-being of each other. We believe police officers can play a critical and integral role in achieving such a community of compassion---an Actively Caring for People (AC4P) culture. 

An AC4P culture can be fueled by AC4P Policing, and involves a paradigm shift regarding the role and impact of “consequences." With AC4P Policing, consequences are used to increase the quantity and improve the quality of desired behavior. Police officers are educated about the rationale behind using more positive than negative consequences to manage behavior, and then they are trained on how to deliver positive consequences in ways that help to cultivate interpersonal trust and AC4P behavior among police officers and the citizens they serve.  

This teaching/learning process is founded on seven research-based lessons from psychology---the science of human experience. The first three lessons reflect the critical behavior-management fundamentals of positive reinforcement, observational learning, and behavior-based feedback. The subsequent four lessons are derived from humanism, but behaviorism or ABS is essential for bringing these humanistic principles to life. The result: humanistic behaviorism to enhance long-term positive relations between police officers and the citizens they serve, thereby preventing interpersonal conflict, violence, and harm.

E. Scott Geller, Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech is a senior partner of Safety Performance Solutions, Blacksburg, VA. He has authored or coauthored 33 books, 82 book chapters, 259 magazine articles, and more than 350 research articles addressing the development and evaluation of behavior-change interventions to improve quality of life. Dr. Geller is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality Sciences. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Psychological Foundation and the International Organizational Behavior Management Network.

Bobby Kipper began his career with the Newport News Police Department in 1977. During his 25-year career he served in the areas of patrol, investigations, media relations, and as executive assistant to the Chief of Police. Following his decorated 25 years’ service with the department, he served as the director of Virginia’s Gang Reduction Program at the Office of the Attorney General. Bobby is the founder and director of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence. His expertise in the area of community and school violence prevention has been recognized by the White House, Congress, and a number of states across America. His best-selling book, "No Colors: 100 Ways to Keep Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities," has been instrumental in developing gang reduction programs in communities across America.

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
ISBN-13: 978-1683500551
ISBN-10: 1683500555
Language: English
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Paperback: 116 pages

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