Q&A of the Day – Does Florida Law enforcement engage in “Implicit Bias Training”?
Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
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Today’s entry: I started looking at the City-level but perhaps it's more efficient to ask at the State-level. Are our police mandated by the state to teach this (implicit bias training)? @brianmuddradio Have you ever heard?
Bottom Line: Yes, yes and yes. Yes, I’m familiar, yes, it’s best to look at the state level and yes, it’s happening in Florida...at least a version of it. First, let’s look at what Implicit Bias Training is...
Programs designed to expose people to their implicit biases, provide tools to adjust automatic patterns of thinking, and ultimately eliminate discriminatory behaviors.
This topic has been a hot one for obvious reasons in the wake of the George Floyd killing and calls for Defunding police. Most recently it received additional attention when the results from NYPD’s implicit bias training illustrated no tangible results and extensive taxpayer expense associated with the training. Generally, the NYPD example can arguably address the argument advanced by most law enforcement professionals up to and including the Attorney General of the United States, that there isn’t systemic racism in policing. Now, about Florida law enforcement.
The state of Florida mandates all Police Academy members complete bias training prior to completion of the Academy and at least once every four years thereafter. Starting in 2017 the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies mandated bias training annually. Florida has 387 law enforcement agencies, and most are accredited (including Broward working to regain accreditation after losing its status as a result of the previous high-profile failures at FLL, Stoneman Douglas, etc.). Some have gone even further. For example, Miami PD went through the Dedication to Community police training (which includes bias training) three weeks ago after the Miami Heat demanded action and paid for the training.
As you can tell, there’s a lot of time and money spent on efforts to combat racial and related bias in policing. People tend to have their own opinions about this issue but there are of course facts. As AG William Barr has stated there’s no evidence of systemic racism in policing. Data generally supports this view. As law enforcement is largely a reflection of the communities they serve, there are unfortunately bad apples that occasionally get through but with 800,000 members of law enforcement in the United States right now and a news media hunting for every opportunity to cry foul - it’s quite clear how rare meaningful issues – racial or otherwise – actually occur.