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Law Enforcement Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management

Law Enforcement Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management
The IMPACT Model

  • Brian D. Fitch - California State University, Fullerton, USA, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Woodbury University

October 2015 | 152 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Law Enforcement Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management: The IMPACT Model provides law enforcement professionals with a comprehensive, easy-to-follow model designed specifically to improve communications with victims, witnesses, subjects, and other members of the public. Harnessing 30 years of front line law enforcement experience, author Brian D. Fitch outlines practical strategies in a six-step model, IMPACT, which asks professionals to:

  • Identify and master emotions
  • Master the story
  • Promote positive behavior
  • Achieve Rapport
  • Control your response
  • Take perspective

When used correctly, this model will help readers communicate and connect more effectively with people in virtually any law enforcement environment.

Chapter 1: Introduction to the IMPACT Principles
Interpersonal Communication in Law Enforcement

Benefits of Effective Interpersonal Communication

Communication Myths

The IMPACT Principles

Chapter 2: Identify and Manage Emotions
History and the Study of Emotions

The Emotional Brain

Logic Versus Emotion

“Fight or Flight”

Tools for Managing Emotions

Chapter 3: Master the Story
Mindless Listening Versus Mindful Listening

Barriers to Effective Listening

Developing the Right Attitude

Eight-Step Strategy for Effective Listening

What to Avoid

Chapter 4: Promote Positive Behavior
Conflict Style

Remove the Barriers

Ask for a Commitment

Closing the Deal

Chapter 5: Achieve Rapport
Trust and Rapport

Interpersonal Communication

Chapter 6: Control Your Response
The Truth About Anger

Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors

Beliefs, Labels, and Self-Talk

Steps to Improving Emotional Management

Chapter 7: Take Perspective
The Power of Perspective

Attribution Theory

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


Chapter 8: Putting the IMPACT Principles to Work
Communication Competence

The Johari Window

The Conscious Competence Model

A Plan for Improvement


"The IMPACT model is a tool that will have a major impact on my students…It is easy to read, comprehend, and put into action.”

Steven Ruffatto
MCJ Harrisburg Area Community College

“I like how this book speaks to many levels of law enforcement officers, new officers through seasoned veterans.”

Pete Allen
ICDC College

“Good overview of many theories and concepts; Good explanation of communication; Good explanation of emotions and responses”

Jeff Schwartz
Rowan University

“This is an excellent book, very relevant, well prepared, and easy to read and understand.”

Debra Jacobs
East Campus Valencia College

"I had read Lt. Fitch’s writings about IMPACT in major police trade journals, and was very pleased to learn that he was expanding his knowledge and experience into a book-level effort. Any cursory view of this book’s contents will inform the reader of this book’s timely service to the field, particularly in light of recent events. Police officers need to understand the effects of their emotions, language, perspective, and responses to people they encounter in the field; this book is a ready-reference for learning appropriate techniques for dealing with those volatile situations we in the policing field have all confronted."

Kenneth J. Peak
University of Nevada, Reno

“This author’s style is refreshingly robust and the book is inimitable. It combines theory with practice from the perspective of a notable law enforcement professional. As a fellow author and retired law enforcement professional, I would have loved to have been taught principles from this book in the police academy as opposed to the traditional learning approach of trial and error.”

Coy Johnston
Arizona State University

"Law Enforcement Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management would be a great addition to the law enforcement officer's toolbox.  The guidelines presented in the IMPACT Model are presented in clear language that can be easily applied to the officer’s daily encounters. It would be a valuable addition to many classes including policing, interviewing, or community policing.  This book is very timely given the current political climate and could prove to be valuable both pre-service in college courses as well as for in-service officers."

Capt. Linda Forst (ret) Ed.D
Shoreline Community College

Not adopted YET. We are constructing a new course for our CRJ program called: "Criminal Justice Ethics". It will not be implemented until next Fall. However, we need to include the books that we will be using for this course in the proposal. After the new course is approved, we will use this text as one of the required readings

Professor Michael Carpenter
Criminal Justice, Suny Adirondack College
November 12, 2015

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