Dr. Fridell, CEO of Fair & Impartial Policing and professor of Criminology at the University of South Florida, provides her thoughts on fair and impartial policing in today’s environment.

In the past year, we have seen additional states require implicit-bias training for certification.  This multi-year trend is a reflection of the titanic transformation in our understanding of human biases.  Many recall the “biased policing training” of old during which we treated all officers as if they were racists.  We treated them as if they had animus and hostility toward marginalized groups and were intentional in discriminating against them.  We can be grateful to the social psychologists who study bias and prejudice for discovering implicit bias.  We now know that even those of us who are well intentioned have human biases that can affect our perceptions and behavior.

So “biased policing” training is no longer about shaking fingers and casting blame.  It’s about introducing police officers to how their brains work.  Training programs, such as Fair and Impartial Policing, introduce law enforcement professionals to the science of bias and discuss how implicit biases might manifest in policing.  In training, officers learn how to recognize, reduce and manage their biases so that they can produce fair and impartial policing.  Many officers still come to a modern class on “biased policing” expecting to hear the same ol’, same ol’ message of the past and then are surprised (and pleased!) to learn that times have changed.   And not only is policing catching up to the science, our profession is way ahead of other groups in the criminal justice system.

To learn more about Fair & Impartial Policing click here.