DON’T BLAME THE COPS FOR IMPLICIT BIAS WHEN IT IS THE FAILURES OF SOCIETY, POLITICIANS WHO REFUSE TO COMPLY
As a former law enforcement officer, supervisor and commander, a law enforcement trainer for over 30 years and operating a law enforcement training company for over 23 years. I have seen many poor excuses for training but never what I have seen or heard in the last year.
Worst of all, is the Implicit Bias training some of these companies are being hired to provide. In fact, they should just call their course, “You’re a cop, therefore, you are a racist pig training course.” Add this to the title: “…you’re the reason criminals don’t comply, and everything is your fault, not the criminals.”
Now that I have vented a little bit, let me clarify. Since retiring, most of my professional conversations are with cops, all types of cops. And most of my conversations are about training, the types of training they need and the types of training they want. Often, the conversation veers into the many types of training they have received.
Some of this training, as I am told, is good and some is not so good. Some are well-received, and some leave a horrible taste in the mouths of the cops who attended. More than ever, I am hearing countless complaints about the implicit bias-related training so many cops have been subjected to in the past several months.
The complaints range from, “I just found out I am racist,” to “Criminals don’t comply because of the way I look at them.”
A few weeks ago, I was asked to evaluate one of these “Implicit Bias-type” training courses for a friend of mine who is the chief of police of a medium-sized police agency. The company providing the training was operated by a group of professors of higher education.
They issued attractive advertising literature and a professionally printed student manual. Their academic degrees and other courses seemed impressive. However, the blame game started almost immediately and by the end of the class I was almost convinced I killed George Floyd.
The cops in the class, who spent most of their time texting and getting pissed-off, left angry, confused, and unmotivated to do any police work thereafter.
After the class, I was edgy and perturbed. I called my friend and gave him my scathing report. He thanked me and chose not to hire the company for any training whatsoever. Thereafter, I immediately decided to do something about my experience and write this article. In fact, I went further and called my staff of law enforcement instructors. Together, we created a factual, motivating, and empowering training course designed for law enforcement officers to better understand and defeat theirs, as well as others, unconscious biases.
We chose to empower officers to use the lessons in their everyday duties rather than blame them for the world’s ills. Furthermore, we illustrated how defense attorneys, criminals, cowardly and corrupt politicians and agenda-driven media are biased against law enforcement officers and have furthers a false narrative. We exposed how they use it, unethically, to further the anti-law enforcement narrative for their own benefit and the benefit of radical organizations.
With this project, creating an exciting, useful, and empowering training course that cops would embrace, we developed realistic, behavior-changing practical scenarios which involve challenging role playing. The primary idea was to educate and motivate cops to leave the course with a positive attitude toward recognizing and managing unconscious biases and more effectively dealing with people they encounter who have biases against them.
My advice to chiefs, sheriffs, training officers, academia and anyone who tries to train cops, especially in the subject of implicit or unconscious bias and considering today’s unreasonable anti-law enforcement environment is this: Think of your cops first! They are getting wrongly accused. I
f you want them to accept the message of change, don’t hire any trainer who doesn’t fully understand cops and respect who they are and what they do. Especially, don’t hire any trainer who insults your cops and makes them feel bad about themselves and their jobs.
Cops are proud, task-driven, honorable professionals who are willing to risk their lives every single day. They do this for all types of people regardless of people’s skin color, political views, or religion. Yes, there are few bad cops but ONLY a few.
To you, the COPS (Corrections, Officers of Probation and Parole, Police and Sheriffs) out there, I say: DEFEND YOURSELVES. Don’t let anyone label you in the same category along with the few bad cops we have seen or read about over the years. You don’t deserve it. In fact, how many lawyers and doctors would help strangers who fought with them?
How many lawyers and doctors’ police their own profession? In fact, how many people, with the power of life and death in their hands like you, the cops, would take a life as seldom as you? NONE!
Be proactive with your professionalism, your professional development, and your critique of the training and trainers you encounter. Be critical of any trainer who refuses to be challenged by your questions. Use your power of evaluation to provide an honest criticism of training you attend. And never be afraid of being honest to challenge anyone who calls you a racist.
Any training designed for the recognition and betterment of the behaviors and performance of law enforcement officers should be carefully considered. As a former law enforcement officer, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to take time out to sharpen your skills and maintain a clear perspective.
We, in law enforcement, can become cynical and suspicious of circumstances and people, especially when we are exposed to non-compliant, hateful, and outright combative individuals, acting that way for no legitimate purpose.
Remember: you will always be fodder for corrupt, cowardly, politicians and unethical, agenda-driven, media organizations which try to benefit from controversy, hate and lies. Don’t give them another opportunity.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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