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    Impact of Forensic Psychology Professional Roles in Policing

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    In ancient civilizations, police officer positions developed from the military. Their job was to be guardians of peace or bodyguards for rulers. In addition, in ancient Greece, slaves were used as police to keep order and to control crowds. Romans organized the first non-military police force when Augustus Caesar created separate units to be bodyguards, some of whom were undercover. The Romans also created separate units to protect the peace during the daytime hours and the nighttime hours. Duties eventually increased to include arrest and investigation functions. The roles of police officers continue to change and develop along with the needs of the people they serve.

    Just as the roles of police officers are many and varied, so are the roles of the forensic psychology professional. What may have started out as one or two psychology professionals acting as consultants to police departments has mushroomed into a specialized profession integrated into the functioning of law enforcement agencies and has developed to match the needs of the police professional. This integration provides police professionals with expertise that improves their abilities, performance, and productivity in day-to-day operations.

    . Think about forensic psychology professional roles that can influence the internal and external contexts of police work.

    • Select two roles that forensic psychology professionals may have when working with police.

    • Think about the ways in which forensic psychology professionals impact police work in both internal and external contexts.

    a description of two forensic psychology professional roles. Then, analyze the impact of each role in both an internal context (i.e., within the police department) and an external context (i.e., outside the police department—n neighborhoods, schools, etc.). Be specific and provide examples.

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    Solution Preview

    Forensic Psychology Roles & Relevance

    According to Fulero & Wrightsman (2008), "Psychology can play a significant role in almost every aspect of police work, from selection of recruits, through the training of police and other law enforcement officers, to the evaluation of their work performance. Forensic psychologists can assist in responding to major types of complaints about the police - corruption, racism and brutality. Furthermore, psychology and the other social sciences have evaluated recent changes in police procedures, such as team policing or the assignment of police officers to particular neighbourhoods, so they become familiar with local concerns." In other words, forensic psychology, or the utilization of the science of psychology within the context of the law and law enforcement is an applicable scientific practice that is aimed at improving law enforcement procedures and supporting and assisting the police and the justice system in their pursuit of peace, order and justice. This field however is rather wide-ranging having grown over the years. Below I have selected 2 roles forensic psychologists often take up.

    • Expert Witness - A forensic psychologist is often called upon in the proceedings of a case to provide expert opinion on a range of issues and concerns, to help judges and juries determine a decision. According to Haward (1979), "The roles of the forensic psychologist as expert witness are as experimental psychologist, actuary, and medical ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution provides information, assistance and advice in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of forensic psychology relevance to policing practice via a discussion of roles. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.