COM FPX 3700 ASSESSMENT 3 Attempt 1 Conflict and Power

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 Conflict and Power

Power is the ability to get a task done. To better understand power, it is imperative to know the context in which it is exercised. Power is the capacity to meet one’s needs. For conflict to occur between individuals, each party involved must have some level of power and the ability to control the outcome of the conflict. Everyone has many potential sources of power, most of which is often not unaware. Some are self-reliant on the conflict, while others can be amplified or lessened by the process of conflict.

Factors that Contribute to Conflict

Community relation issues across the nation have been increasing and causing many conflicts between law enforcement (police) and communities. Conflict is a normal part of life, and many factors contribute to a conflict between law enforcement agencies and the citizens they protect. Most conflicts between police and citizens often occur due to police using force to control the encounter. Using excessive force can lead to civil disorder and impedes productive police-community relations. Poor communication can also lead to conflict between police and the community they serve. The effect of poor communication can cause tension when a police officer wrongly arrests a community member or physically harm or kill a community member, resulting in conflict, especially when there is a biased mind. Conflict can arise when the police officers are biased in their actions and treat a citizen unjustly. Also, the environment in which the police-citizen encounter occurs affects the way police officers and community members engage one another, which can affect the interactions in both negative and positive ways, especially in the black African American community where they think the crime rate is high.

How Perception of Power leads to Conflict

For a conflict to occur, each opponent must have some level of power or authority. There are various perceptions of power between the law enforcement agency and the citizens, and these differences in their perception can lead to conflict. The effect of power perception differs between people (Peleg-Koriat, Weimann-Saks, & Ben-Ari, 2018). Individuals have different perceptions about law enforcement agencies. Some view them as the city keeper. Some think police officers are doing an excellent job protecting people from crime, while others believe the police are on them. Perception of power can lead to conflict when people think they have power given to them or are above the law by purposely abusing it, thinking they will get away from it. For instance, police officers can use their position by taking advantage of the people they have pledged to protect, such as by violating citizen rights or placing citizens under false arrest. As a result, most citizens have been abused or injured by law enforcement agencies due to some authority given to them; it is essential for people to know that police officer are not above the law, even if some powers are given to them.

The Relational Theory of Power

The relational theory of power states that power between two individuals is not established at the start of a relationship, and the relationship between people with each other can result in power. Power is developed over time through experiences between the two. The relational theory of power affects the perceptions of power between citizens and the police through their experiences of their actions in the community or as seen in the media. It is difficult to change the perception of power when established; thus, the conflict-based mindset is birthed. The relational theory of power helps people to control what happens to them. The rational theory of power can make people in the community or law enforcement agencies have different perceptions about their ability to control what happens to them. The authority has been given to the police in the community; due to the power and authority they possess, they would want to be in control of the relationship between them and the community, which causes conflict.

Conflict Resolution Strategies

There are many ways to resolve conflicts between the police and the community. For the resolution to be effective, the police and the community must understand the source of the conflict to arrive at a solution. It’s vital for both parties to gain a clear understanding of the source of the conflict. Especially police officers to identify triggers that cause negative emotional responses like the tone of voice or choice of words. When triggers are identified, police can control their emotion and the emotions of others.  Also, facilitating genuine collaboration between opponents will help build an understanding of the opposing viewpoint and arrive at a solution that satisfies the concerns of the involved parties. The people perceive the importance of collaboration in mediating conflicts (Martins et al., 2020). Collaboration plays a vital role in conflict resolution. It encourages both parties to discuss the issue openly and honestly, express their thoughts and concerns, and help create a feeling of respect among them. With a collaborative approach, the police can transform negative energy into a positive opportunity for learning and growth (University of San Diego, 2022).

The Outcomes of a Conflict Resolution Strategy

Understanding the sources of the conflict will enable the law enforcement agency to identify the root cause, analyze the issue and provide a solution.  The analysis of the root cause will help the police and the community to have a better understanding of the problem being solved before developing a solution. A collaborative approach will enable both parties to work together to resolve the issue. This will ensure both parties respect each other, express their concerns, and provide an opportunity to listen to each other’s viewpoints and learn from them.


 Power is the ability to get a task done. For power to result in conflict, each party must have some level of power depending on how it was exerted. In the context of a community and law enforcement agencies, no one is above the law, and everyone is subjected to the law. Conflict is inevitable in every community, and law enforcement agencies aim to protect citizens from crime, and the citizens are also protecting their civil rights. A conflict between the police and the community should be identified, analyzed, and resolved.


Peleg-Koriat, I., Weimann-Saks, D., & Ben-Ari, R. (2018). The relationship between power perception and couple’s conflict management strategy. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy17(3), 227–249.

Martins, M. M., de Lima Trindade, L., Vandresen, L., Coelho Amestoy, S., Prata, A. P., & Vilela, C. (2020). Conflict management strategies used by Portuguese nurse managers. Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem73(6), 1–7. 

University of San Diego (2022). Conflict management strategies for law enforcement leaders