This week the Golden West College, Criminal Justice Training Center, in partnership with the California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) and the Orange County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association, hosted a three day Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP) Train the Trainer workshop. Attending the workshop are 25 law enforcement officers from 13 different police agencies from Orange County. The course is the first of its kind in Southern California and advances modern policing strategies to address complex issues in our highly diverse communities. The workshop was made possible at no cost to the participating agencies through funds from the Leadership and Ethics Institute.
While cultural sensitivity training for police officers is not new, FIP emphasizes the inherent perceptions and biases that all people form from their own life experience. This course trains officers to effectively manage these issues which are essential to ethical and professional policing.
Fair and Impartial Policing is a research-based program that applies modern science to bias policing. It trains officers on the effect of unconscious bias and gives them the information and skills they need to reduce and manage their biases. The course addresses, not just racial/ethnic bias, but biases based on other factors, such as gender, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status and so forth. The program is designed for academy recruits/patrol officers and first-line supervisors. These curricula are founded on the following fundamental principles:
- All people, even well intended people, have biases.
- Having biases is normal to human functioning.
- Biases are often implicit or unconscious, thus influencing choices and actions without conscious thinking or decision making.
- Officers can learn skills to not allow their normal biases to control their behavior, to increase their own safety, and to ensure effective and just police practice.
- Supervisors can learn skills to identify biased behavior and take corrective actions when they detect biased policing.
The program was developed from the expertise of a distinguished national Curriculum Design Team (CDT) comprised of experts in biased policing that included, police executives, first-line supervisors, officers and other community stakeholders. Additionally, social psychologists from around the nation who conduct research on human biases were members of this team. After completing the train the trainer program, these law enforcement instructors will be able to implement the Fair and Impartial Policing curriculums to personnel within their own agencies or academies.
For more information, contact Gary Meza at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Meza is a retired Lieutenant from the Huntington Beach Police Department and has been the coordinator of this new course. He has conducted extensive research over the past six months on the subject. Plans are underway to present the first class at the Golden West College, Criminal Justice Training Center in 2015. The curriculum will be included in the Regular Basic Course.