Traditional “racial bias training” (sometimes called “racial profiling training”) often produced strong negative reactions from trainees.  This is because, despite good intentions, traditional racial bias training often left trainees feeling that they were being labeled as “racists” and being told to “stop being prejudiced.” As a result, officers who believed themselves to be fair and impartial—who strove to be fair and impartialrejected this training. So, although agencies met their required hours of “racial bias training,” the training content, unfortunately, was not having the impact that agencies and communities desired.

The traditional training described above was based on outdated science that assumed that all biases were conscious and deliberate.  According to the modern science of bias and prejudice, biased behavior is more likely to manifest as a result of our implicit biases rather than overt racism. Beginning at a very young age, we develop stereotypes about groups.  Messages from our parents, the media, our peers, and so forth produce racial stereotypes and stereotypes based on other factors such as gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, professional status, and so forth. These stereotypes or “implicit associations” exist within our subconscious and can, without our awareness—and despite our good intentionsaffect our perceptions and behaviors.  Fortunately, scientists have also shown that we can identify, reduce and manage our biases if we are motivated to do so.

Fair and Impartial Policing, LLC’s training programs educate participants on the science of implicit bias, which rejects finger-pointing and encourages awareness. Our courses introduce skills that help participants identify, reduce, and manage their biases. This approach to training on racial biases helps officers to be safe, effective and just.

For more information about implicit-bias training and available courses, visit www.fipolicing.com.