About This Course

The past few years have been extremely challenging for the law enforcement community. There has been a sizable shift in public support for the police, which was likely influenced by media coverage and extreme political activism. Still, the police bear some responsibility for the public’s views of an officer’s behavior. The actions of an individual officer can impact the public’s opinion of officers across the country—fairly or unfairly.

One approach to improving the public’s opinion of the police is the practice of procedural justice. This tactic of policing at the street-level seeks to ensure that the process of policing is considered fair and reasonable by the individual as well as those watching the interaction. It requires officers to avoid behavior that would be considered rude, disrespectful, or simply unfair.

This webinar will review the research associated with police behavior and how citizens are likely to interpret an officer’s actions. It will help officers and administrators understand the impact of calm and respectful behavior on the public’s perceptions of the police. Further, the positive actions of one officer can improve the long-term cooperation of the larger community toward the law enforcement goals of crime reduction and an improved quality of life for all citizens.


| Scott W. Phillips, PhD

Scott is a full professor in the State University of New York – Buffalo State. In 2006, he earned a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Albany. Since then he has published over 35 peer-reviewed research articles focusing on empirical examinations of police decision making, police attitudes, and police culture.

Scott’s research has examined the arrest and criminal charging decisions when officers handle domestic violence incidents, police officer’s attitudes about the use of force, police officer self-motivation, diffusion of policing innovations, aspects of police militarization, the use of body-worn cameras, and the factors influencing an officer’s use of deadly force.

Scott was selected twice as the Futurist Scholar in Residence with the Behavioral Science Unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy in Quantico, VA. In addition, he worked in the COPS Office with the U.S. Department of Justice, and served as a police officer in Houston, TX.