COM FPX 3700 Assessment 3 Conflict and Power CM

Understanding Conflict Between Law Enforcement and Citizens

In recent years, numerous instances have highlighted tensions between law enforcement and citizens, primarily fueled by differing perceptions and attitudes towards authority and societal rules. While law enforcement officers are tasked with upholding the law, challenges arise when either party adopts a perspective that may lead to conflict. For instance, officers might perceive non-compliance as a direct challenge to their authority, while citizens may view certain actions by law enforcement as excessive or unjust. Such situations underscore the complex interplay of power dynamics, where misunderstandings and misperceptions can escalate into conflict.OM FPX 3700 Assessment 3 Conflict and Power CM


Power Perceptions in Law Enforcement

The significant power vested in law enforcement comes with the expectation of responsible use, guided by laws and ethical standards. Conflict arises when this power is perceived to be misused, whether by officers who view themselves as above the law or by citizens who feel targeted or marginalized. Especially among minority communities, there’s a heightened sense of vulnerability to power abuses, influenced by personal experiences, societal narratives, and media representations. These perceptions contribute to a cycle of distrust and conflict that challenges the foundation of community-police relations.

Applying the Relational Theory of Power

The relational theory of power suggests that power dynamics are fluid and shaped by various factors, including cultural backgrounds, personal experiences, and societal roles. This theory posits that understanding and respecting these dynamic power relations can aid in addressing and mitigating conflicts between police and communities. Recognizing that perceptions of power evolve over time encourages a more adaptable and empathetic approach to law enforcement, emphasizing mutual respect and cooperation as cornerstones of effective police-community relations.

Strategies for Conflict Resolution

Several strategies can be employed to bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities:

  1. Accommodation: This approach involves one party making concessions to maintain peace, prioritizing harmony over conflict. While it can offer short-term solutions, true resolution requires addressing underlying issues.

  2. Compromise: A mutual effort to find common ground, compromise necessitates respect, open communication, and trust. It’s a balanced approach that acknowledges the concerns of both parties, aiming for a solution that satisfies all involved.

  3. Collaboration: By engaging in dialogue, listening, and negotiating, collaboration involves all stakeholders in the resolution process. This strategy is predicated on mutual respect and the willingness to understand diverse perspectives, fostering a more inclusive and effective conflict resolution process.

OM FPX 3700 Assessment 3 Conflict and Power CM

In conclusion, resolving conflicts between law enforcement and communities demands a multifaceted approach that respects the complexities of human behavior and societal dynamics. Strategies that emphasize mutual respect, open communication, and collaboration can pave the way for more harmonious and effective community policing efforts.


Arias, V. M., Amiot, C. E., & Ryder, A. G. (2019). Identity configurations and well-being during normative cultural conflict: The roles of multicultural’s conflict management strategies and academic stage. European Journal of Social Psychology, 49(5), 970–991.

Jordan. (2017). Relational-Cultural Theory: The Power of Connection to Transform Our Lives. The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 56(3), 228–243.

Peterson, E., Reichert, J., Konefal, K., and Holihen, K. (2019). Procedural justice in policing: How the process of justice impacts public attitudes and law enforcement outcomes.


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