What is the current status of police training and police departments’ relationships with communities of color? What might police departments need? An APA committee summarizes their findings.

There is clear evidence of racial bias in police treatment of African American men and boys (i.e. Burch, 2011; Feierman, 2014; Krupunski et al., 2009) and clear impact on communities (Goff et al., 2014).  Although there have been a variety of programs directed to addressing police bias (i.e. Fair and Impartial Policing, 2015; Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing, 2015), there is a need to bring experts together to provide a model training program to address police bias and heal communities.  In addition, there is a need to examine the structural relationship between Black communities and law enforcement agencies from a gender and intersectionality context.  Acknowledging and analyzing the connections between violence against Black men, women, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people reveals systemic realities that go unnoticed when the focus is limited exclusively to cases involving Black non-transgender men (Say Her Name Report, 2015)   We conducted a working meeting in Washington D.C. which gathered national experts. The goals of this meeting was multifaceted.  First, we wanted to have experts, police officers and community members exchange ideas on addressing police bias and healing communities.  Second, identified best practices in reducing police bias and healing communities. Third, we examined best practices in creating a systemic evaluation program.  Fourth, identified more effective ways to engage police, community and media to reduce civil rights violations.   The following is an executive summary of our meeting and current progress.

The report addresses the current status of police training (including the inconsistency of training and the presence of a “get home safe” mentality) and the current status of engagement between police and communities of color (including a lack of knowledge and antagonistic approaches), then provides recommendations, particularly regarding implicit bias.

Click to download the executive summary of the APA Interdivisional Grant Racial Bias Policing Report

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