Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Brian Pinzer


Cultural Awareness, Police, Community Policing


Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The overall purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to explore the perception of the impact of Cultural Awareness Training toward improving the negative relationship that exists between southern municipalities and their communities, especially those individuals who are culturally different from the given officer(s). In many cases, these relationships involve abuse of power which leads to mutual disrespect and a subsequently diminished relationship. A review of the literature on community-oriented policing provided vivid descriptions with clear examples regarding what is identified as relationship-based policing. Relationship-based policing seeks to get not only the community’s input, but also community involvement in establishing best practices and training (Beck, 2016). Relationship based policing builds on community-oriented policing and the foundation already established through community-oriented policing and goes a step further into relationship building. The aim of this research study was to examine whether Cultural Awareness Training implemented by southern municipalities is assisting and motivating police officers to relate and interact with community members using affirmative practices to create a more heartening relationship between the police and the community. This study sought the perceptions of the participants based on their lived experiences both past and present as well as their knowledge of the cultural awareness program implemented by the local police department. There were three themes which had a major impact based on the lived experiences of the participants, 1) understanding the beliefs of others, 2) the experience and exposure to different cultures, and 3) communication.

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